Logan Patterson, owner of Logan's Espresso Cafe, said his “original business plan was to make an offering to the community." Though Logan's is likely shutting down, he said he hopes "to leave a legacy to my city."

Logan Patterson, 73, has lived in Boulder since 1995. When he arrived, he built cabinets for a local furniture maker, where he got a taste of entrepreneurship. He decided to venture into business himself, choosing the world of coffee. “It felt like something I could do,” Patterson said.

So in 2002, Patterson spent his life savings to open his own coffee shop, Logan’s Espresso Cafe, with some financial support from friends. 

“At the age of 50, I risked everything I had,” Patterson said. 

For months, he put in 12-hour days, every day. He built the cabinets behind the counter and installed the floors himself. “I got my heart and soul in here,” he said.  

Over the years, Patterson developed not only the inside of his store, but a community hub in a shopping center in North Boulder, anchored by Lucky’s Market. 

“My customers love me. They’ve watched me build this place. It’s an absolute neighborhood treasure,” Patterson said. “We have people who walk here every day and have for years. It’s a meeting place for people.” 

This is why he, along with his customers and employees, were devastated to learn about Logan’s Espresso Cafe’s uncertain fate. 

In late April, Patterson said his landlord, John Conis, stopped by the cafe and told him he wouldn’t renew his lease at the end of the year. Patterson said Conis also didn’t renew the lease of neighboring Cilantro Mexican Restaurant, which has moved out of the shopping center.   

After 21 years, Logan’s is now slated to close and vacate 3980 Broadway by Jan. 1, 2024.

“He’s given me numerous conflicting reasons for why he’s not renewing my lease, so I’m not really sure why,” Patterson said.

According to Patterson, Conis told him another shopping center tenant wanted to expand into Logan’s. Conis also said coffee shops are going downhill, and Logan’s wouldn’t be able to afford rent, according to Patterson. Another reason supposedly given was that Logan’s was too successful and its customers take up too many parking spaces in the shopping center.

Boulder Reporting Lab contacted Conis for comment but did not hear back. He owns most of the buildings in the shopping center, except North Boulder Liquor, which is owned by his brother Pete Conis, according to Patterson.

“Landlords rule,” Patterson said. “He needs to give me zero reason why he’s kicking me out, and there’s no recourse, zero way I can recoup any of the loss of my business.”

The unexpected news about Patterson’s lease threw a wrench in the coffee shop owner’s plans. Patterson had intended to pass ownership of Logan’s Espresso Cafe onto his two head baristas this summer. Both have worked with him for at least a decade — an unusual accomplishment in the service industry. They were going to make monthly payments to Patterson out of the store’s revenue. 

Logan Patterson said he has little desire to reopen Logan’s in another location in Boulder. Credit: Chloe Anderson

But that’s not the only plan that fell through. Patterson wanted to spend his days in retirement at the very community gathering place he built. 

“My plan was to ride my bike up here every day after I retire to sit down with my customers of 21 years, with kids that I watched grow up,” Patterson said. After he closes the cafe, he added, “I’ll probably never see a lot of these kids and customers who are actually dear friends” — especially since Patterson has little desire to move Logan’s to a new location. 

“That’s not what I want to do,” Patterson said of reopening Logan’s elsewhere. “I could do it, but I only have so many of those huge creative surges left in my life.” 

Though Patterson said a few customers have offered to help finance Logan’s move, he said, “God, I’ve done it all. I don’t want to do it now. I know how hard it is.” 

Patterson created a Change.org petition in July, with hopes that enough signatures would pressure his landlord to reconsider. As of Aug. 8, the petition had 3,382 signatures. 

Kathy Emery, one of the petition’s signers and a North Boulder resident, wrote in a comment that Logan’s “vision has been so community based. We and our children have grown up there. It feels like a tear in the fabric of the North Boulder community to have the cafe removed.” 

Patterson is planning to throw a New Year’s Eve party at Logan’s before packing up the store in January 2024. He views the party as a chance to make one more positive impact on Boulder. He said part of Logan’s “original business plan was to make an offering to the community.” 

“It’s not about money to me,” he said. “Coffee shops are so much more than just coffee.” 

“I do understand the truth of uncertainty and impermanence,” Patterson added. “I hope to leave a legacy to my city.” 

Jessica Mordacq is a contributor to Boulder Reporting Lab focused on local food and drink coverage. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has previously written for various trade and lifestyle magazines. Email: jessica@boulderreportinglab.org.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m sympathetic to anyone who isn’t given the opportunity to renew their lease, especially after such a long time, however it’s the landlord’s right to refuse and do what he thinks is in his best interest. Many people in apartments, homes, and businesses are going through the same process. It’s part of renting. To paint the owner as the “ bad guy” simply because he wants a change or to expand another business is just wrong.
    There are plenty of other locations in North Boulder and even Cilantro found a new location and I believe the landlord even offered Cilantro’s old location to Logan ? Which I didn’t see mentioned in the article? Sure it won’t be cheap to move and I’m aware that Logan did much of the construction himself, but he had to have known he couldn’t take it with him. But to drag the owner who developed that property from a liquor store and dirt lot in the 1970s into a thriving shopping center it is today is wrong.
    Times change and many people have a hard time excepting and adjusting to these changes, but that’s how life and business can be.
    I wonder “Did Logan ever have any Long term employees whom may have invested over a decade working with him, building his brand?” Did Logan let any of them go? Where are they today? Are there any “ go fund me” drives or articles about employees who invest their time for 10 or 15 years, only to get canned and start over again? What about the many families who lived in homes for years only to be pushed out by a super competitive housing market ? Are all these “pillars” of the community helping them find housing by keeping rents affordable? HELL NO. They are moving new people who can afford it in and moving on. That’s the Boulder way.

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