I was driving around Cheyenne, Wyoming, exploring the cold and snowy streets when there it sat, Central Cafe. An olive-colored building with striped awnings, huge glass windows, a large patio, and a packed drive-thru that wrapped around the side of the building. I put on a jacket and headed inside and to my surprise, this place is gorgeous.
Central Cafe must’ve hired an interior designer who loved coffee. The aesthetic reminds me of an industrial French bistro. The cafe mixes many creative elements, such as exposed ductwork and brick with traditional elements like the tin ceiling tile wrapped counter. There is a strong black and white color scheme throughout, subtle hints of gold, and exposed brick. As I admired the unique lights, white backsplash, and marble tables, I stumbled upon a black and white photograph above the service station that appeared to be an old mechanic station. I later learned that Central Cafe originally was that service station. So cool!
I stepped into line and politely introduced myself to the baristas, Sam and Bridget. Sam is the general manager and operates this cafe, and Bridget is known for her amazing granola and chicken salad made in-house. Central Cafe has been open for 1.5 years. It’s the sister cafe to The Metropolitan, a restaurant located in downtown Cheyenne. It states on the restaurant website, “A classic menu with elevated service and polished casual atmosphere, The Metropolitan Downtown invites you to enjoy innovative twists on comfortable classics, exceptional wines, and creative cocktails.” I happened to drive by it later that day; it looked just as cute as Central Cafe, giving off a very similar vibe.
(Bridget and Sam)
Central Cafe is a great place for anyone that is in the mood for coffee. Whether you want to relax out on the patio, get work down with their free WIFI and many outlets, or you’re in a hurry and need a quick run through the drive-thru, they have what you need. With a huge variety of coffee options, tons of flavors, and even tea, you won’t be disappointed. This cafe sees a pretty eclectic group of people, but especially young adults and business-type. For the colder weather, there is a fireplace to warm you right up. Central Cafe did quite the transformation aesthetically, while still preserving the brick and general shape of the original service station building. I love stumbling upon a coffee shop that looks like it has molded perfectly into the building as if it were two puzzle pieces fitting into one another.
Of course, I ordered coffee, but I knew it had to be a hot one. I had been freezing from the winter weather I had been traveling in. I asked Sam what she recommended and she told me their most popular drinks right now are the Central Latte and the London Fog (with lavender). I decided on the Central Latte, and I’m glad I did; it was delicious and full of flavor. I asked what was in it after I tried it so I could be pleasantly surprised. It contains chocolate, caramel, vanilla, espresso, and milk. Warmed me right up! Make sure to grab a loyalty program card while you’re there, and hold onto it! After 10 drinks, your next one is free. And if you don’t prefer coffee, they offer a wide variety of seasonal teas.
The roaster they use for Central Cafe is a company out of Fort Collins, CO, Wander Coffee. They are a small-batch roaster that has spent the past decade perfecting their skills. Opening the doors to Wander Coffee in November 2016 and they are committed to producing beans that are as ethical as they are delicious. Making sure they source good quality beans from all over the world. I would like to say that Kyle and Megan Kmetz are doing a great job, tasty coffee! Check out their site for online orders, Wander Coffee.
There are plenty of tasty food options. Ranging from muffins, bagels, parfaits, to Ahi tuna bowls, cobb salad, and housemade Belgian waffles (waffle weekends only). Don’t forget to try Bridget’s homemade chicken salad sandwich; there were two ordered just in the short time while I was waiting for my drink. And if you need a pick me up, make sure to order some energy bites!
Does coffee bring out the creativity in you? Be sure to pull out a pen and unleash your best portrait on your napkin. Every week there is a “Napkin Artist” and Central Cafe features them front and center on the counter. When I was there the winner was 9-year-old Sophia with an amazing drawing of a horse! Good luck!
There are two bathrooms and they are extremely clean. This was pretty impressive considering how many people were there at the time. The bathrooms had the same vibe as the rest of the cafe; white tiles, concrete, and lighting in the restroom. Matching the rest of the building very well. I will rank this bathroom an 8.5/10, great job.