This summer, Boulder residents were saddened to learn about the likely closure of Logan’s Espresso Cafe. The cafe’s founder, Logan Patterson, was told by the landlord, John Conis, that his lease wouldn’t be renewed after Dec. 31, 2023. For more than two decades, Logan’s has been a beloved coffee shop located in the heart of North Boulder next to Lucky’s Market.
But January will bring a new cafe to the shopping center. Ruzo Coffee will open two doors from Logan’s current location, taking over the space previously occupied by Cilantro Mexican Restaurant. Patterson said Conis also wouldn’t renew Cilantro’s lease and the restaurant relocated to Iris Avenue and 28th Street.
According to Patterson, Conis offered Cilantro’s old space to him before telling Patterson he wouldn’t renew his lease. Facing possible retirement and uncertainty about Logan’s future, Patterson’s original plan to pass on the cafe to his employees is now in doubt.
Meanwhile, Ruzo Coffee finds itself in a challenging situation, too, tasked with filling a void left by Logan’s closure at a time when some residents are upset over the probable loss of their longtime cafe.
“We’re trying not to be guilty by association by telling people we’re here to do a good job,” said Jordan McDaniel, Ruzo Coffee’s co-founder. “We want to do a good job, and this is just the circumstance.”
Kiley Guerrier, who lives in North Boulder, visits Logan’s Espresso Cafe a few times a month, and the plaza surrounding it multiple times a week.
“Logan’s is a community pillar,” Guerrier wrote on a Change.org petition, created in hopes of getting Conis to reconsider his decision. “This business fits perfectly in the plaza with Lucky’s [Market], [Lucky’s] Bakehouse and [Lucky’s] Cafe. I would hate to see it replaced.”
But Ruzo is not taking over Logan’s spot. And Guerrier told Boulder Reporting Lab, “I would absolutely try out the new coffee shop” in the shopping center.
Jordan and Matthew McDaniel, 20-year-old twins who grew up in North Boulder, signed a lease at 3980 Broadway Street in September 2023. The brothers are financing Ruzo using their savings and some money from their parents, and said they plan to buy out their parents’ stake within five years. They’re scheduled to open Ruzo Coffee on Jan. 5 next year, operating daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the aim of addressing the gap left by Logan’s closure.
“The neighborhood needs a coffee shop, and we wanted to add value to the community,” Matthew said. The McDaniels eventually want to extend Ruzo’s hours into the evening with board game nights, book exchanges and coffee workshops to help set Ruzo apart.
“Coffee shops are abundant, and it’s hard to make a remarkable coffee shop,” Jordan said.
The McDaniels attended Boulder High School, as well as Centennial Middle School and Crest View Elementary School, both within walking distance of Ruzo Coffee.
“There are so many things we want to do for the neighborhood because this is a place that we’re so familiar with,” Jordan said. “We know these people.”
Jordan and Matthew have been navigating being first-time business owners with help from their business classes, online resources and their community. Their dad, an IT consultant, connected them with a Front Range-based lawyer and accountant. Matthew’s fiancé created Ruzo’s website, and her mom, who works for the health department in Thornton, consulted the brothers on health department permitting. Jordan’s childhood friend recruited his dad as Ruzo’s building contractor.
Though Jordan and Matthew acknowledge their inexperience in running a coffee business, they each have several years of customer service under their belts. Matthew has been a barista at Amante Coffee in North Boulder since he was 16. He will graduate in December from Front Range Community College with an associate degree in political science.
During most of high school, Jordan worked at China Gourmet, located in the same plaza as Ruzo Coffee. After graduating, he moved to Eugene, Oregon, where he worked for a property management company and was head server at a sushi restaurant. He later began taking business management classes at a community college in Eugene.
“Jordan and I specifically went to community college to save money,” Matthew said. The twins paid their own tuition and have been saving money from their jobs. “We always wanted to be entrepreneurs and have our own business.”
The inspiration for the coffee shop’s name and interior design comes from the McDaniels’ heritage.
Initially, Jordan and Matthew named their business Kuma Coffee, which means “bear” in Japanese. The brothers are a quarter Japanese on their mother’s side, with several dogs in their family named Kuma. However, after consulting with a lawyer in October and conducting a trademark search, they decided against using the name Kuma. Instead, they settled on Ruzo Coffee by rearranging the letters in “rozu,” the word for “rose” in Katakana, a phonetic alphabet used for foreign words in the Japanese writing system. The logo for Ruzo Coffee will continue to feature a bear.
Ruzo’s interior is also influenced by Jordan and Matthew’s Japanese heritage.
“We’re not going to have an outright Japanese theme, but it’s going to be very linear and wooden,” Matthew said, referencing Japanese design elements that often feature natural materials and a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
Ruzo will sell Japanese pastries, coffee, burritos, sandwiches and bagels from Boulder and Denver-area businesses. This, they said, reflects their goal to involve as many local businesses as possible and establish themselves as a genuine neighborhood coffee shop.
“We’re by the community, for the community,” Michael said.