The Crown coffee shop and bar in Breckenridge is a cozy new hangout
If you go
What: The Crown
When: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
Where: 215 S. Main St., Unit L, Breckenridge
Cost: Coffee drinks from $1 (drip coffee, if you bring your own mug) to $5; breakfast items range from $4 to $6, with appetizers from $7 to $10 and lunch from a $4 cup of soup to $10 signature and panini sandwiches; plus a selection of desserts and pastries. Wine ranges from $6 to $9 per glass, and beer is $3.50 to $7 per bottle.
More information: Visit www.thecrownbreckenridge.com, or call (970) 453-6022
Sara and Brett Cox always dreamed of owning their own business, and after tying the knot in September 2013, the timing finally seemed right to put that plan into motion. After looking at different types of businesses, specifically coffee shops, the two purchased The Crown in Breckenridge in May of last year from longtime owner Abbie Norton, reopening it under their new ownership in June.
“We stayed open until the end of September and then we closed for three months to do this big renovation,” Sara said. “We operated it through the summer and recognized a lot of the challenges that the space had.”
The extensive remodel included expanding the kitchen, adding a bar and an electric fireplace, upgrading plumbing and heating and rearranging the dining area. Along with all of the new elements came a new menu and new hours. The Crown officially reopened the week before Christmas, a nerve-racking time to launch a newly revamped business.
“The renovation, right out of the gate, put a lot of stress and strain on us. We had never done a renovation — we were married in September of 2013, bought a business in the spring, renovated it over our anniversary, and we’re still married,” Sara said with a laugh.
NEW MENU, NEW HOURS
The Crown is now open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, serving breakfast until 11:30 a.m. daily and an appetizer and lunch menu from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The bar stays open another hour past the kitchen, closing at 10 p.m.
“We added breakfast — breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches, pastries and some lighter options like yogurt, fruit, oatmeal,” Sara said. “We do a lot of paninis and sandwiches, soup, some salads. For appetizers, we have flatbread pizzas, artichoke dip in a bread bowl, homemade hummus. Most of our food is homemade; as much as we can do homemade we do.”
Highlights include the roasted raspberry chipotle flatbread, topped with heirloom tomatoes, arugula and goat cheese for $10, and Brett’s favorite, the pork belly sliders served with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce on a sweet potato bun, three for $10.
To go along with the new food items, The Crown offers traditional coffee drinks, plus wine, beer and specialty cocktails. The coffee is sourced from Silver Canyon Coffee Co., in Boulder, the same purveyor used by the previous owner, and drip coffee is only $1 if you provide your own mug. If you need a little something extra with your morning pick-me-up, The Crown has you covered.
“We have boozy coffee drinks,” Brett said, an added touch that, along with staying open late, sets The Crown apart from other coffee shops in Breckenridge. “We kind of cut back on the full bar aspect. We used to have about 40 bottles of liquor.”
“We didn’t have a focus,” Sara said of the original bar menu. “So we really homed in on more of the dessert-type drinks and coffee drinks and beer selection. We have a really unique craft beer selection.”
Brett said the coffee bar typically has about 20 beers on hand, mostly microbrews, with a balance of import and domestic and many Colorado selections. During happy hour, from 3 to 6 p.m. daily, beer is $1 off and wine and cocktails are $2 off.
The Crown caters to a lot of people, Sara said, everyone from the college kid on his computer working on a paper to a group of girls for happy hour to the family of five coming in to get dessert and play board games.
The location on the south end of Main Street has been really important in generating foot traffic, a setting that will also make it a hot spot come summertime.
“We have this amazing back patio that we get access to all summer long that’s right along the river, kind of a hidden back patio,” she said, adding that it helps to be continuing with an established model instead of starting from scratch. “It’s not a brand-new business that you’re throwing on the wall to see if it sticks. It’s been here for 13 years, we just improved on a good concept.”
Though Brett and Sara have had to face the challenges that come along with owning a business, from managing staff to managing inventory, there’s a lot of pride in doing it their own way.
“Calling the shots, being your own boss, having a vision and seeing it finish the way you want it to be finished,” Sara said. “All of the business owners in town, we all work seven days a week, it’s nonstop, and when you’re not here, you’re thinking about it, it’s definitely life encompassing.”
Despite all of that, Sara said she and Brett look forward to making it their home.
“We’ve had such great support from friends and family, people stop in every day, people I haven’t seen in 10 years,” she said. “It’s like having friends stop by your house.”
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