The story behind The Art gallery at the DPAC is one of success within today's tough
economic circumstances... It is a story of a husband and wife team who are more than just a local business, but rather, two amazing people who have not only built an amazing small business (Backstage Coffee), but also help support and grow the arts in Denver.
The story started (literally) 17 years ago, with nothing more than a 3' x 3' freezer on wheels, which they used to sell fruit-bars in the Buell Theatre...
Their small and amazingly innovative idea began to grow and soon, they were in all three theatres. Next, they expanded their business into also selling coffee in each of the theatres as well.
When the opportunity arose for them to open a small coffee shop on the Corner of 14th and Arapahoe, they grasped the moment...and opened Hannah's soon after. However, their expansion came just a little too quick and they were forced to take a step backward, closing the store shortly afterward. Despite the setback, they were determined to succeed no matter the circumstances. Still selling fruit bars and coffee in the theatres, they worked even harder, while Matt continued to look for an opportunity to open another retail store within the DPAC complex.
Matt and Jan knew hard work, dedication, and never-ending drive are truly the main components for amazing success... As fate would have it, in 2005, Matt had heard rumors the DPAC was planning to move their ticket office from 14th Street to inside the Bonfils Theatre... Without hesitation, he immediately opened talks with the building's owner about the possibility of taking over the space. In 2006, their dream became a reality, as they opened Backstage Coffee directly on the pavilion (and 14th Street) of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
In 2010, once again using his amazing business instincts and wit, Matt heard the adjoining space to the south side of their business was to become available as the Four Seasons planned to move their pre-construction offices into the newly completed hotel across the street. Acting immediately on the opportunity, Matt once again contacted the building's owner about the possibility of opening an expanded kitchen and seating area in the space.
In November 2011, their vision became a reality, taking over the adjoining 2,000 square feet, putting a special kitchen allowing them to bake their own breads, pastries, cookies, and other baked goods.
The remaining 1,300 square feet are now The Art Gallery at the Denver Center for the Performing arts, boasting the greatest visibility of visual arts (for both foot and drive-by traffic) in Denver. In addition, because The Art Gallery is directly at the DPAC, during shows, literally thousands of people both walk by and visit the gallery each weekend. More than just their expansion for custom baked goods, their goal is to use The Art Gallery space to help continue the evolution of the 14th Street corridor by literally being the first Gallery at the DPAC. They believe the street has such an amazing potential for galleries and art (complimenting the DPAC), within just a few years, they hope to see other galleries spring up both North and South of their location.
Address: 1000 14th St #B, Denver, Colorado 80202 (Click for Active Map)