Alpine Modern (Art) Café

The design-forward Boulder coffee spot is shifting its secondary focus from retail shop to art exhibit

If you’re a Boulderite, we’re willing to guess you’re no stranger to the beloved Alpine Modern. And if you’re a regular Colorado Homes & Lifestyles reader, you might remember this 2015 interview with Lon McGowan, founder alongside wife Lauren McGowan, of the Boulder coffee spot, which at the time was a retail store full of handcrafted design essentials. 

That July, McGowan had just announced the opening of Alpine Modern Café and shared his mantra with us: “to elevate the modern design and lifestyles of mountain communities around the world.” Since then, the Alpine Modern brand has learned that designing specialty coffee creations and a menu of thoughtfully prepared food is its best-performing contribution to the Boulder community. Thus, the Pearl Street location is reducing the retail portion of its space and expanding the café concept. 

White Antlers on Rainbow by Maryanne Quinn

“We’ve had fun developing the café and have seen a lot of success with it at the University Hill location,” says Jon Baker, Alpine Modern’s Director of Operations. “We wanted to streamline [the Pearl Street shop] down to one primary focus, with plans to expand Alpine Modern Café to Denver next.”

Despite this shift away from design retail, Alpine Modern Café will maintain its passion for beautiful craftsmanship. With the rearrangement of the Pearl Street location comes more freed-up wall space—the perfect place to showcase the shop’s favorite local artists who jive with their aesthetic, says Lauren McGowan. 

My Aspen Hat by Maryanne Quinn

For roughly six months at a time, Alpine Modern Café on Pearl Street will display artwork by local artists, starting with seven pieces (ranging in size from 30×30 to 55×48) by Colorado textile artist Maryanne Quinn. Quinn’s bold works in felted wool add the perfect pops of color to the space’s modern white walls (like Quinn’s felted antlers do in the entryway our Editor in Chief’s Louisville home).

I Love Him With All of My Heart by Maryanne Quinn

“I am excited about collaborating with the Alpine Modern team because I instinctively connect to their coalescence of design and mountain culture,” Quinn says. “I love what they are cultivating in the heart of our town.” 

Next time you’re perusing Pearl Street, admire Quinn’s work while sipping a specialty cappuccino and enjoying the ever-popular Avocado Tartine.


Categories: Colorado Destinations