Cafe Max, a European-inspired cafe that brings together good food, design, fashion, and architecture, will open in a space that formerly housed the Balance hair salon on Colfax. The couple behind Cafe Max, Max Hopewell-Arizmendi and his partner, Yuki, is aiming to create an environment where artistic and business-minded folks can gather to share food, thoughts, beverages as well as culture and art through travels and life adventures.
The cafe will serve simple food in a comfortable setting. The menu, a streamlined list of items with some Asian notes and some European influences, will include things like paninis, sandwiches, baked goods, and a variety of carefully selected beverages.
A select few items will be baked in house, to be supplemented with a variety of baked goods sourced from popular local businesses like Humble Pie, Buffalo Doughboy, and more. One of the goals set by Cafe Max is to support the local community. Aside from featuring items from local bakeries, Cafe Max will get popcorn from its next door neighbor for patrons to enjoy in the evening in the sleek space. Coffee comes from local roaster Novo Coffee, while teas will be sourced from multiple suppliers, including Teatulia. Among the signature drinks, Cafe Max will serve a Japanese-inspired matcha latte as well as a goat smoked latte. A small but carefully curated list of alcoholic beverages includes sake, European wines, as well as several local and European beers.
A small retail component will be present at Cafe Max featuring vintage magazines, books on interior design or travel, several pottery items from artists like Kazu Oba, and other select items connected to food, design, and art.
The physical environment at Cafe Max aims to express the identity of its owners. The furniture is a sleek mix of contemporary items- simple and comfortable tables with an assortment of mismatched designer chairs. A projection video will be streaming fashion shows and short independent films on an otherwise stark white wall. Art will be present in every corner.
Bryce Widom, a local artist who specializes in chalk art among other things, has been commissioned by Cafe Max to recreate the image of a poster- Le Petit Dauphinois - on the massive chalk board that dominates the bar area.
There is a mural planned for the bathroom executed by a local graffiti artist and wood fabricator Luke Goodhue whose work fills the simple and modern space at Happy Coffee in the Baker neighborhood is working on the bar, shelving, and other furnishings.
Attention to every detail is what Cafe Max seems to be all about and that stems from the background and personality of its owners. Max Hopewell-Arizmendi sets the tone of the cafe and he brings a colorful palette of professional experiences to the table. Born and raised in New York, he has worked in the high-end fashion industry from Berghoff-Goodman to Madison Avenue, in public relations at Hill & Knowlton, one of the world's largest PR company, and off and on in restaurant world for 24 years from waiting to managing. His partner of 15 years, Yuki, is originally from Japan and many years ago has come to the United States to study at the University of Maryland. Most of his work experience is in fine dining including working for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud.
After many years in New York, the couple moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for three years, a period Max called "wonderfully boring." Ready to pursue the dream of owning a cafe, Max and Yuki moved to Denver.
Cafe Max is set to open later in January.