The historic building at 689 Main Street has seen several businesses come and go over the past decade — from Six89 to The Way Home — and in the coming months it will transition through yet another phase. Craft Coffeehouse will shut its doors in Carbondale on Dec. 22, 2022 to make way for fresh opportunities both at 689 Main, and for Craft’s business elsewhere.
Craft’s Carbondale location opened its doors a year and a half ago, and since then has served its local community not only as a a relaxed, funky environment to work, get an organically-sourced breakfast or have a specialty coffee, but also as a center for Carbondale events, culture and other small business.
Making its commercial kitchen available to other businesses, Craft shared its ovens with local baker Shepherd Breads and over the summer Craft gave space to Sweet Cream Dreams — a small fully-organic ice cream shop. Not only has the space been used as a market for local artists, farmers and makers, but Craft also hosted many large events including 5Point Film Festival activities, a CRMPI fundraiser and last September’s fashion show (Amy Kimberly’s rewirement party).
“The intention of Craft has always been for the community,” said owner Dri Liechti in a recent interview. “And I want to make sure the community knows how thankful we are, because we wouldn’t have been here without them.”
Liechti stated that there are plans for the building which don’t match with the future she envisions for Craft, and for that reason the space is being passed on to different hands. “I was offered an out,” she said, “and I’m very thankful for that.”
The change comes as a third in a trio of shocks to Carbondale’s food scene, between farm-to-table eatery SILO remaining closed through all of November and hip cocktail bar Batch Provisions closing its doors definitively.
Despite the inevitable disappointment of leaving such a well-loved space, the change comes at a time of exciting restructuring for Craft. The locations in both Carbondale and Basalt (at 160 Midland Ave) have always used their own roasted coffee, but equipment limitations meant that the only place one could taste their beans was in the shops themselves.
Recently however, Local Coffee House of Aspen donated an industrial roaster to Craft, and soon Craft will have an operational roasting facility in Willits to distribute across the Valley. Furthermore, Liechti mentioned plans to expand the location in Basalt to include a griddle, such that many of the same favorites Carbondale regulars were accustomed to could still be acquired for a tasty brunch.
“It’ll sort of be a return to classic Craft, in that way. Smaller space, that kind of environment we started out with,” said Liechti. And with or without the expansion, many of the same friendly faces coffee nuts have grown accustomed to in Carbondale will continue slinging drinks in Basalt, so regulars should be sure to swing by and say hello.
Additionally, one of Craft Carbondale’s most well-loved features is its funky, fully thrifted interior design. Because of that, on Dec. 23, the location will have a sort of garage sale, and all the unique items of décor will be on sale, so folks can preserve a little bit of Craft in their homes.
Furthermore, the space at 689 Main won’t be empty for long. For several weekends in the summer, Craft hosted their “Peruvian Nights” — full dinners of South American cuisine not found elsewhere in the Valley. Fans of those pop-up meals — and Roaring Fork foodies in general — will be glad to know that at some point in the near future, 689 Main will host a Peruvian restaurant, full-time. Furthermore, the top-tier sourdough from Shepherd’s Breads will continue being baked on 689 premises, so avocado toast connoisseurs can breathe a sigh of relief.
Above all else, Liechti wanted to highlight her thankfulness to the Carbondale community for allowing Craft to thrive at 689 as long as it did. “We are so lucky and grateful to live in the most beautiful, supportive place, and excited for the next few weeks we have left with you all.”
Disclosure: In addition to writing for The Sopris Sun, Will Buzzerd is a part-time employee at Craft.