While searching for a new place to check out, I found Pablo’s Coffee on 6th Avenue and Washington. It’s fairly easy to miss if you’re not paying attention, but I’m glad that I found it. The drinks were good, there was a really comfortable atmosphere, and the clientele seemed nice, but there was one thing which really drew me in and made me feel a real connection to the place.

But I’ll get to that in a minute.

One of the first things which stood out to me was the checkerboard ceiling. Aside from that, the whole place seemed like a pretty standard coffee shop. Furnished with small, round tables on the main floor with plants lining the windows and a corner dedicated to displaying their coffee beans, mugs, and other items for sale. But something about that checkerboard ceiling told me that there was something special hidden away that I didn’t know about.

I ordered my cappuccino and kept looking around as I waited, trying to find what it was that was hiding from me. After a few minutes I got my drink and noticed the barista took the time to make a little design in the foam. “That’s pretty neat,” I say to myself as I grab it and start searching for a place to sit. Could that be it? No, that feeling was still there in the back of my mind.

I took a seat hidden away in the back corner on a comfortable looking couch and start drinking my coffee. It’s a good, strong, dark roast with a thick layer of foam which gives it a nice texture. Is it the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had? No, but it’s far from bad. I’d come back here for the drinks alone, but it was about half way through drinking when I noticed it. Right in front of me was a stack of community sketchbooks, left out in the open for anybody to draw or write in. As tasty as my drink was, it was these sketchbooks which really captured my attention the rest of the time I was there.

Sure, a few pages were filled with nothing but scribbles, but overall, the amount of talent tucked away in their pages astonished me; I’ve always wished that I could draw well and here are a handful of quick sketches, left behind and likely forgotten, that I would be willing to pay good money for just to have them hanging on my wall. A drawing of Death, holding a grieving widow in the palm of his hand as she mourns her husband’s gravesite while the husband reaches out of his casket towards her quickly becomes my favorite.

There are also writings interspersing the art. Poems and stories of self-acceptance, raw and unedited catch me off guard. I came here to drink coffee, after all, not to feel. Nevertheless, they pull me in and time flies by in a montage of glimpses into random, faceless stranger’s lives.

I’d recommend checking out Pablo’s for either the coffee or even the sketchbook alone. But if that’s not the kind of thing that interests you, there are also a handful of other books available for anybody to read including a collection of historical newspaper front pages and some others I didn’t get a chance to look at. Either way, it’s worth paying a visit.

Pablo’s Coffee
630 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
(303) 744-3323

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