Browsing Tag

Wyoming

Coffee Shop

#70 Paramount Cafe


Paramount Cafe

1607 Capitol Ave.,
Cheyenne, WY
Get Directions

Contact: 307-634-2576

 

WWW.PARAMOUNTCAFECHEYENNE.COM
IG @paramountcafe
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Date Visited: November 2, 2019

The turn of the 20th century in Cheyenne, Wyoming brought with it the exciting new Paramount Theatre (built in 1904). As I drove by it, curiously looking to see what was playing in this historic theater, I read, “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice.” Then I spotted Paramount Cafe in the window! A theatre turned into a coffee shop?! I had to stop and check it out.

 

I parked the van and headed inside past the ticket booth towards the cafe. The chalkboard sign in the booth now contained a movie quote rather than showtimes and ticket prices. It read “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller”. I love signs and plaques like this. They provide wonderful little check-in’s to appreciate the journey of life, especially during all of my travels. There were tons of people working at tables, conversing with friends, and enjoying themselves. I couldn’t get over how amazing and well-preserved this place looked.

The Inside

My favorite piece of history that I noticed right away were the floor tiles; the craftsmanship was exquisite. Next, there were hardwood floors in the back of the main hallway that looked to be original. I turned right and headed into the coffee shop area only to be blown away by the ceiling tiles, antique lighting, and the coffee counter that looks to be the original snack bar that they may have used. I loved all the historic details the cafe had maintained. Although the old-time photos on the wall staring back at me gave me the heebie-jeebies.

Baristas

I made my way up to the counter and kindly introduced myself to Katie, Chris, and Cullen. I told them all about my travels and they were excited for me to experience this place and everything it has to offer. The second they told me that it was built in 1904, I had to ask if it was haunted. Chris told me he had once heard his name being called while he was working, yet no one was around. Eerie. This theatre started out as a live play theatre in 1904 and was badly damaged in a fire in late 1915. In 1931 it was rebuilt and renamed the Paramount Theatre as it stands today. Then in 1980, another bad fire destroyed the auditorium. All that survived was the cafe and ballroom. Fun fact, the Paramount marquee outside is original to 1931, and the coffee shop loves to put fun coffee themed messages on it.

The owners, Renee and Jon Jelinek, bought the property in 2013. They converted the upstairs to a co-working space and The Paramount Ballroom next door was converted into a gorgeous cocktail lounge. The majestic building on the opposite side of the Cafe has been turned into 40 beautifully renovated office spaces that overlook the town. These people are do-ers, and they do an excellent job! I know the community must be grateful to have them.

Katie wanted me to know just how much the owners strive to help the community and that this is much more than a simple coffee shop. They offer WIFI for customers to sit, relax, and work if they’d like. They also love supporting music and the arts; pretty fitting that they established this cafe inside of a theatre! The first Friday of every month they have Open Mic Night and this allows different artists in the area to showcase their talent. All of the art seen throughout the hallways and cafe was produced by local artists. It was nice to see the owners’ passion for community engagement. When I was there, the artwork on display was created by Alisha Isaacson and her work was phenomenal. I’ll attach some photos below. Don’t forget to check out the cup art on display, all sorts of artists put their unique spin on it.

The Coffee

The coffee was not to be taken lightly. I ordered a drip coffee and it was absolutely delicious, it didn’t need anything added to it. Their coffee is roasted by Jackie’s Java in Ft. Collins, Colorado. I sipped coffee while I met and pet Crypto – the Super Dog! He was such a good boy. The two most popular drinks when I was there were the M.O. 35 and the Butter Beer. The M.O. 35 is a chai latte with caramel and espresso added. The Butter Beer is an Irish cream and butter rum latte; next time I visit I plan to try it.

The Food

There are quite a few food options at Paramount Cafe. Some of the options are scones, muffins, yogurt, and gourmet breakfast burritos. The yogurt parfait consists of homemade gluten-free granola and berries. If you’re looking for even more variety, you can always head over to their ballroom for a fun menu of tasty bites and desserts. A few things I would order would be the Brussel sprouts, fingerling potatoes, or the house made hummus. Yum!

The Patio

There is a patio outback that used to be the auditorium believe it or not. Now it has chairs and tables to enjoy your coffee and relax. Different graffiti artists have decorated the brick walls and it looks so cool! The baristas told me that if you walk out past the patio you can look back and see what used to be the balcony area of the auditorium. Be sure to check it out.

Tasty Tidbit

Have you ever had a bad day and forgotten your wallet and someone spotted you? Have you ever wanted to return the favor and “Pay it Forward” later? Well, now you can, Paramount Cafe offers customers to buy a drink and write who it is for. All you have to do is tack it up on the board. While I was there, there was a free coffee pass for an active or retired first responder. I loved this idea and would love to see more coffee shops offer something similar. Spread the good, or as they wrote on the board, “Let the warm fuzzies commence.”

The Bathroom

This was different and very old I’m assuming. Luckily they have updated the plumbing over the years with a newer toilet. There looked to be antique tiles on the walls, original floors, and nice decor. Fully stocked and cleaned, I am going to rank this theatre bathroom a 9/10.

Coffee Shop

#69 The Crooked Cup


The Crooked Cup

1611 Carey Ave.,
Cheyenne, WY
Get Directions

Contact: 307-637-7375

 

WWW.THECROOKEDCUP.COM
IG @the_crooked_cup_Cheyenne
Facebook

Date Visited: November 2, 2019

On November 2, 2019, the temperature was in the low 40’s and I was in dire need of a cup of hot coffee. The heat of my van worked fairly well, but the windows didn’t insulate well at all. I scanned my notes for coffee shops in the area and The Crooked Cup sounded intriguing. It was only a few minutes away in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was quickly on route for coffee.

First Impressions

I pulled up in front of a massive brick building and the first thing I saw was “COFFEE” across large windows that covered the front of the shop; I had to be at the right place. I made my way through the front door. Unlike the picture below, this place was booming when I first arrived. Every table and chair was taken, I ended up having to sit at the bar, which worked out perfectly as it made it easy to talk to the baristas. 

The Crooked Cup is small, but clean. A few round tables with bistro-style black metal and cushion chairs are available for customers to enjoy a coffee with friends, in addition to seating along the bar. The long wooden bar wrapped around from the front of the shop all the way to the back. Different art pieces and paintings were featured throughout the shop, and a fun fire-orange color accented the cafe.

Baristas

I stood in front of the TV screens and grazed the menu. Instead of the normal “How can I help you?” I was greeted with a “Hey, how is your day going?” I enjoy these the most, as it feels as though you’ve met a friend for coffee, rather than just a business transaction. This is when I met Eloy, the barista and owner of this place. He had a personality that lit up the room! He was ecstatic about my travels and Find That Coffee. He then introduced me to his son who works alongside him when he’s not in school. This is my first encounter with a father and son run coffee shop; it made me envious when I think back to all the times my dad suggested we open a coffee shop together. I’d sling the coffee and he would be a cook. But, Eloy didn’t always have this plan for him and his family; things just happened to fall into place. Keep reading and you’ll find out the whole story.

The Crooked Cup has been here for over 1.5 years but Eloy took over the operations here in July 2019. He did away with paper menus and put them on screen. This was a smart decision; he and I joked about how dirty physical menus can get. The Crooked Cup serves Cafe Richesse coffee and espresso which is roasted out of Fort Collins, CO. Cafe Richesse believes strongly in socially-conscious coffee and imports their beans from Brazil. This ultimately allows them to give back to the Brazillian farmers and community. Conscious roasters, and the cafes who utilize them like The Crooked Cup, make me happy to learn about. There are currently four locations of The Crooked Cup, between here and Colorado.

The Coffee

Eloy was a hilarious guy and full of positivity. I don’t know what it is, but I think all coffee people get along. I asked him what the most popular drink was at the moment and he steered me towards the Crooked Bumble Bee. I told him the name alone had me interested. This latte consists of honey, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Wow, it tasted good, full of flavor. More sugary than the normal drip coffee I usually order, but once in a while I like to spoil myself. If you do like drip coffee they offer two types and a large variety of espresso drinks. And if you aren’t fond of coffee, they offer chai, tea, smoothies, and hot chocolate.

The Food

The Crooked Cup offers tons of breakfast options such as bagels, muffins, cinnamon rolls, oatmeal, and chocolate chip cookies. If you’d like something a little heartier, they make very affordable breakfast burritos and other sandwiches. While you’re there you have to try their specialty Kolaches. This is a freshly made puff pastry stuffed with egg, cheese, and bacon or sausage. They serve one full of ham, jalapeno, and cheddar cheese. For vegetarians, they have mushroom, spinach, tomato, and white American cheese. But if you really want to treat yourself, order a salted caramel brownie!

Tasty Tidbit

Now, this is a story worth repeating! Eloy had been working his butt off as the head chef in a restaurant for over 15 years. He saw a lot of potential for expanding this restaurant and bringing it to the next level. He offered to buy in on the restaurant but the owner refused. He was burning out. Not to mention he would drink almost a half-gallon of coffee every day at work; an entire tall silver canister during each shift.

The guy that would deliver coffee to the restaurant had seen Eloy almost daily for the last few years. Having a “restless leg” and tired of being stuck in this job, Eloy stopped the coffee deliverer one day and asked, “If I wanted to open a coffee shop, how would I get into it?” His response was short and quick, “Call me tomorrow.” Eloy called him the next day and told him there just so happened to be a Crooked Cup shop for sale in Cheyenne, WY. After showing Eloy the cost and running the numbers, Eloy made his decision to pursue coffee after what felt like the quickest 20-minute decision of his life. On June 4th, 2019 he turned in his two-week notice at the restaurant and bought the coffee shop. He was ready to pour his time and energy into coffee.

For the next few weeks, he was heading to The Crooked Cup in Ft. Collins at 6:30 a.m. for training on running one of their coffee shops. Then getting off at 1 PM and heading to the restaurant for the last few weeks till 2 AM and doing it daily. Although he was beyond exhausted, nervous, and scared, he knew he had made the right decision. He began running the coffee shop here and he’s loved every minute of it. His son helps and his family has supported his vision the entire way, even if it did seem crazy to his wife at first. 

From as far back as he can remember he grew up drinking coffee. As a kid in Mexico, his mom would drop him off at his aunt’s for a “fun” weekend with his cousins and they would pick coffee beans for almost eight hours. He always had a feeling coffee would find his way back into his life and I’m glad it did. I had a really great time there and I’m glad I had the pleasure of meeting Eloy and his family.

“I just did it.” - Eloy Martinez

The Bathroom

I’m going to be nice here when I say the bathroom is small. It was fully stocked with TP and soap so I’m not complaining. And it did give me quite the laugh, I peered in and saw a portrait of a lady staring back at me. I went to ask Eloy what the deal was and he couldn’t stop laughing. He found the picture in Goodwill and thought it would be absolutely hilarious for some to see while they’re using the bathroom. He wasn’t wrong, I was cracking up. The bathroom could use a little TLC but I’ll rank it a 6.5/10 for creativity.

Coffee Shop

#68 Central Cafe


Central Cafe

3920 Central Ave.,
Cheyenne, WY
Get Directions

Contact: 307-634-9339

 

WWW.CENTRALCAFEWY.COM
IG @centralcafewy
Facebook

Date Visited: November 2, 2019

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.

First Impressions

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!

Baristas

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.

The Coffee

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

The Food

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!

Tasty Tidbit

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!

The Bathroom

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.

Coffee Shop

#67 Rail Yard Coffee Haus and Eatery


Rail Yard Coffee Haus

1620 E Pershing Blvd. #120,
Cheyenne, WY
Get Directions

Contact: 307-514-5055

 

IG @railyardcoffeehaus
Facebook

Date Visited: November 2, 2019

When I think of Cheyenne, Wyoming I think cowboys, Buffalo Bill, and some of the best national parks in the United States. In terms of coffee, I hadn’t a clue what to think. Do people out here want uniquely-sourced and locally-roasted coffee or your average old-school black pot of Maxwell House? Are coffee shops going to have the same passion and drive for coffee that I witnessed in a place like San Francisco? I was excited to find out. I did some research and stumbled upon a coffee shop right up the road called Rail Yard Coffee Haus and Eatery.

 

I pulled into a huge parking lot with a strip of businesses. Sitting in between a nutrition shop and an insurance company. I will be honest and say that I had no idea what to expect when entering. I do have an eye for design and really enjoyed their clean signage and vinyl on the windows. There were a few chairs sitting out here for warmer days.

The Inside

Walking through the door I was in awe. This place was full of smiling people, plants, artsy vibes, and to my surprise there was an old box spring all lit up hanging from the ceiling. I know this description sounds crazy, but it worked perfectly; the shop was so clean and wonderfully setup. It’s a mix of industrial and comfy: metal tables, wooden chairs, fresh flowers, and two very inviting leather chairs. The more I looked around the more I noticed. Whoever designed this place did a phenomenal job sourcing the antique furniture in here. An eclectic coffee shop in the middle of Wyoming, I had to find out more.

The Food

I stood in line studying their menu, which happened to be displayed on three TV-monitors but you could hardly even tell – genius idea! This allows them to change the menu in a flash, unlike the traditional chalk menus in most coffee shops. Their breakfast items were bagels, burritos, and yogurt parfaits. Other items included tacos, soups, paninis, cold sandwiches, and one of the freshest salad bars I’ve ever seen. I wanted everything on this menu, it all sounded delicious!

The Baristas

I stepped up and introduced myself to the barista, Marissa, and began to explain why I had stopped in. The two other baristas, Mateo and Ben, perked up and Mateo told me to go take a seat and he would be right with me. I made my way to a table and wondered how this was going to go. Suddenly, Mateo came out from the counter with a tray containing a picture-perfect cappuccino and a glass of water. He stopped everything he was doing and took a seat with me. It isn’t often that anyone joins me for coffee when I interview them, this was wonderful.

I came to find out that Mateo is part-owner of Rail Yard and owning a coffee shop had been a dream of his for a very long time. Mateo operates Rail Yard under the principles of freshness, quality, and originality. For example, every day they place fresh flowers on the tables for customers to enjoy. Mateo even searches for beautiful china and vintage mugs, like the vintage snack tray my coffee was delivered on. His attention to the little things makes Rail Yard stand out. This is a great place for friends to meet, people to relax and grab a bite to eat, or swing by for their monthly cars and coffee events. They offer a full menu, all made in house, and tons of coffee options. Mateo was doing an amazing job and I hope to discover more coffee shops with this fun artistic vibe. Makes sense why the SugarHill Gang and the Original Furious 5 stopped in a few months back! Here’s a picture of everybody on @railyardcoffeehaus.

The Coffee

The cappuccino was one of my favorites on my adventure so far; appearance, taste, and smoothness. When you visit you too will see how much care they put behind their drinks and don’t rush the quality. I saw the baristas checking on customers and making sure everyone was having a wonderful coffee experience before I had told them why I was there. They offer tons of different coffee drinks and six different milk options. They use three different roasters, H+S Coffee, Snowy Elk, and Cheyenne Coffee Company, and are the only coffee shop in Cheyenne to serve Wyoming roasted coffee. I can’t wait to visit them again soon.

P.S.

They’re expanding and building a second coffee shop in downtown Cheyenne, WY. Stay tuned 🙂 I’ll see you guys at their grand opening!

The Bathroom

The bathroom was clean and fully stocked. Shared with the insurance company next door so it was very clean. Unfortunately, they aren’t able to put a Rail Yard touch on it. I’m going to rank this restroom a 7.5/10.

Coffee Shop

#66 The Enchanted Bean


The Enchanted Bean

1400 Dell Range Blvd.,
Cheyenne, WY
Get Directions

Contact: 307-637-2389

IG @the_enchanted_bean
Facebook

Date Visited: November 2, 2019

Cold Night, Need Coffee

The night before my next shop, I drove over six hours from Park City, Utah to Cheyenne, WY. Traffic signs warned me of 60+ mph wind gusts that shook the van from the left lane to right. I called it a night in Cheyenne, in front of a Planet Fitness attached to Frontier Mall. I reached for every blanket and piece of clothing I could find to stay warm, my van was registering 18 degrees.

Headed in the Mall

That next morning I woke up bright and early, feeling like a popsicle. I scurried into Planet Fitness and washed up. I was in desperate need of a coffee. I quickly searched on my phone for coffee near me and saw The Enchanted Bean was only a two-minute walk away. I didn’t know what to expect from a coffee shop inside a mall, but I’d like you to know that I was pleasantly surprised.

I passed a smiling customer on my way in and was greeted by Sean, the barista. He was a great guy and after telling him what I was up to, he happily informed me that he and his wife are the owners and founders of The Enchanted Bean. His wife, Victoria, has a passion for coffee, and owning their own business had been a long-time dream. Wishing them a huge congratulations – July 21, 2020, marks their one-year cafe anniversary!

The Coffee

The Enchanted Bean uses a roast from Airship Coffee out of Bentonville, Arkansas. I was feeling something a little more than drip coffee today. I asked Sean what the most popular drink was and he insisted I try the Harvest Peach. I had no idea what to expect, this was a latte with cinnamon, french vanilla, and peach. Peach and espresso seemed like an interesting combo. Sean whipped it right up and, let me tell you, it was delicious! I always say a good coffee in the morning determines your whole day. I was very pleased. 

The Food

They offer a great variety of food options such as wraps, hot paninis, cookies, scones, and muffins. Everything is made in-house except for the muffins. While I was there I spotted some delicious cookies in a variety of flavors: butter sugar, triple chocolate, white chocolate macadamia nut, candy corn, spiced sugar, and pumpkin spice. There are five wraps and four melts. The southwestern quesadilla sounded the best to me: full of chicken, bell peppers, onions, spicy ranch, and pepper jack cheese. But I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of them!

Discount

Sean and Victoria noticed how many locals walk laps through the mall every morning and they wanted a way to reward them. They decided to offer loyalty cards to customers; after six purchased drinks you will receive your seventh free. They also offer discounts to military, first responders, teachers, and mall employees. Be sure to check them out when you’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming for a good cup of coffee!

(Painting by: Jessica Smartt)

The Bathroom

The bathrooms are provided through the mall. They’re right across the hall which is great for customers. Unfortunately, I can’t rank them highly on restrooms since they aren’t able to personalize it. I am going to rank it a 7/10.