Just over two years ago, Denver’s Black Eye Coffee opened its second location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The gorgeous 3,100-square-foot space was unlike any other coffee shop Denver had seen, partially because it was serving up more than espresso. Every evening, the coffee bar would flip its mirrors and mugs to reveal shelves lined with bottles of booze. Dubbed White Lies, the coffee shop, bar and full-service restaurant had a sexy alter ego aimed at appealing to more than just coffee lovers. Over the span of the two years, the triple threat had its ups and downs, with many mixed reviews from the press. Some people enjoyed the all-in-one shop whereas others found it busy and unfocused.

Unfortunately, after spending two years trying to make the concept work (which ultimately led to the end of its bar program), Black Eye Capitol Hill has called it quits.

“Our last day was Sunday. Closing was a potential that we were trying to avoid but we just couldn’t get the operating capital we were seeking for it to make sense,” said Dustin Audet, co-owner of Black Eye Coffee.

Sign found on the door of Black Eye Coffee this weekend.

Audet, who’s one of the remaining owners, also explained that other factors contributed to its closing. This included disputes over the initial vision of the shop between the original owners (Steven Waters is no longer part of the business), as well as rent and a lack of reliable staffing. He explained business was steady but unpredictable at times, which made it hard to staff such a large space. Fortunately, Audet explained that this closure will not impact their original location.

This closure will not effect our original location. LoHi remains a strong neighborhood staple and is thriving with its new addition of beer and wine offerings,” said Audet.
No word as to what will happen to the 820 Sherman Street location, which is attached to the MOTO Apartment complex. Hopefully, the beautifully redone space will find new life and some better luck.
All photography by Kyle Cooper.
Editor’s note: We have updated the article to reflect that Sarah Simon is still involved with Black Eye Coffee. She has not left the project. 

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Brittany is a Denver native and the managing editor of 303 Magazine. She has a passion for great writing and she hoards collects magazines like Lucky Peach (RIP) and the New Yorker. Brittany is also a big fan of podcasts and public radio, and you can usually find her cooking while listening to either. As the former food editor, she takes a picture of everything she eats and (shamefully) 99 percent of the photos on her phone are of food. See for yourself and follow her on Instagram and Twitter

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