Las Vegas has plenty of claims to fame — from gambling to Wayne Newton to late night excesses. Coffee is not one of them. That may be changing, as independent coffee houses and at least one independent coffee roaster have recently made Sin City home.
According to a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal report, Vegas’ coffee scene — which in the past has been nonexistent, save for some Starbucks and Coff Bean & Tea Leaf locations — has been bolstered in recent years by the success of Colorado River Coffee Roasters, which has been selling more than a ton of roasted beans per month to local cafes, restaurants, caterers and retailers.
Several sources in the report credit the down real estate market with helping invigorate the local coffee scene. As one independent coffee shop owner told the paper, the the reason many cafes went out of business when the economy took a downturn “didn’t have anything to do with how much money the business was making or how much people liked it. It was just they signed a bad lease.”
Specialty Coffee Association of America executive director Ric Rhinehart suggests what’s happening in Vegas may be symptomatic of a nationwide uptick in specialty coffee roasting and production. “Coffee has traditionally gone through a cycle of expansion and consolidation. The time is appropriate for an expansionary cycle now,” he told the paper. “What’s really held it back over the last couple years is the lack of access to capital. Banks were not lending very well and people’s traditional sources of capital, home equity and retirement accounts, were not as liquid or available as they once were.”
The full story: Las Vegas Review-Journal