Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Investor hopes Dazbog coffee shop perks up South Downing

dazbog location

A Dazbog coffee franchise is envisioned for this 1980-vintage office building at 2450 S. Downing St., a block north of Porter Adventist Hospital. Photo: Richard Chapman

From where Keith Darr stands, there are plenty of coffee shops along East Evans Avenue and University Boulevard but too few on South Downing Street. So, come mid-November, Darr intends to open a Dazbog coffee shop in a former office building near Porter Adventist Hospital.

“There isn’t another coffee house in this particular area,” says the former software consultant and ex-real estate fix-and-flipper. “It’s a little bit underserved. I’m hoping people say, ‘Hey, a new coffee shop, maybe I’ll give it a shot.’ ”

Especially for employees at the hospital, which is only a block south of his building at 2450 S. Downing St., he says. Darr hopes Porterites will flock to Dazbog for a cup of Joe and a breakfast burrito before work, a sandwich and salad during lunch, and a tasty dessert after hours.

He’s not quite certain yet, figuring he’ll adjust hours and cuisine once customers start rolling in. It’s all part of the learning process, he says, as is the coffee business itself. Darr’s counting on Dazbog’s school for franchisees to teach to him the finer points of making espresso and cappuccino, whether they be fat, skinny or just pleasantly plump.

“They’re training me,” he says proudly. “It looks pretty interesting and fun.”

Along with the training and some research into procuring healthy foods for the hospital crowd will be renovations to the building. Plans call for constructing a new Trex deck out front so customers can sip lattes near the sidewalk and remodeling the interior so they can huddle over a warm brew when the snow flies.

Parking is no problem, Darr says, as there’s space for 10 or 11 cars behind the 30-year-old, one-story brick building.

Darr says he tasted a lot of coffees before deciding on a Dazbog franchise, but the decision also turned on a youth soccer connection he had with Dazbog’s founders, Leonid and Anatoly Yuffa.

“I talked to other franchise holders,” he adds, “and they’re doing pretty well.”

Dazbog, which is a Slavic greeting of happiness and wealth, is a 14-year-old Denver-based company with 29 stores in five states. Darr’s shop will be store No. 30.

“This looked like a good venture,” he says. “Better than real estate. People are still going to drink coffee.”


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