For Colin Gerety, Momo Lolo’s Coffee House offers a simple purpose.
“It is intended to be a space for people to gather,” Gerety said.
Gerety opened Momo Lolo’s in 2010 after years of working in the tech industry. Located on Elizabeth Street, the shop is heart of the Campus West District.
“I decided I wanted to do something else,” Gerety said. “I searched around for something else….One of the ideas was to create a social space for people to gather.”
Gerety initially debated between opening a bar and a coffee shop.
“I decided on a coffee shop because I did not want to deal with drunk people,” he said.
Much of the clientele is repeat customers, Gerety said.
“Every coffee shop has a different atmosphere,” he said. “And they range from something like the Human Bean where there is no interior at all, to places like Momo Lolo’s.”
With each atmosphere, comes a specific clientele.
“It is people in the neighborhood,” Gerety said. “And that is generally students, but we get a fair number of retired people and people from the churches nearby.”
Momo Lolo’s has always had a steady increase in business, according to Gerety. However, this year has been a notable exception due to the underpass construction in Campus West.
“It has set us back a year and a half,” Gerety said.
For some customers, it is their favorite place to study.
“It is my favorite place in Fort Collins,” said Willa Johnson, first-year graduate student in Colorado State University’s occupational therapy program.
She is also a regular patron of Momo Lolo’s.
“It just has a real good feel here and I spend a lot of time studying here,” Willa Johnson said.
Other coffee shops around Fort Collins have too much sensory information, with people talking loudly and moving around, according to Willa Johnson.
In particular, the overall the blend of studying and light socializing create a favorable ambiance, along with the baristas’ friendliness. The décor also fosters a nurturing environment, Willa Johnson said.
“That just feels nice,” Willa Johnson said. “The colors and the art are pretty warm.”
Other pluses? The prices.
“I can afford to study here,” Willa Johnson said. “I can buy a coffee and get a refill here.”
Hannah Allen is a senior biology major at CSU. A resident of Boulder, she visited Momo Lolo’s for the first time. She thought her drink was wonderful and plans to return.
“It is quiet and comfortable,” Allen said.
The staff also take pride in the laid-back atmosphere.
“We take our time here,” said Avery Johnson, a barista.
Momo Lolo’s fosters more of a “get things done” atmosphere, as opposed to the more social atmosphere of other coffee shops in the vicinity, Avery Johnson said.
The shop showcases local art. The shop engages with its patrons, in particular through the daily trivia questions at the front counter.
“The coffee shop is a little more active because we ask questions,” Avery Johnson said.
How do Gerety and staff see Momo Lolo’s future?
“I would say I am just taking things day by day as they come,” Gerety said.
Instead of making drastic changes, the coffee shop should embrace its reputation as a laid-back place to relax and study.
“What I hope is that it stays similar…or the same,” Avery Johnson said. “It is the only place in town that is chill.”
Momo Lolo’s Coffee House
Location: 1129 W. Elizabeth Street
Hours: 6:30 am–10 p.m. weekdays. 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. weekends.
Year opened: 2010
Favorite drinks cited by patrons and baristas: Mexican hot chocolate, almond milk latte, chocolate chai.
Collegian reporter Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dudesosad.