Riffs Urban Fare an appealing replacement for beloved Book End Cafe
For years and years, some of my Boulder Media Women friends and I would meet every Friday morning for coffee and conversation at Boulder’s Book End Cafe, next to the Boulder Book Store. The cafe got grubby, but we loved it anyway for its good coffee, better house-baked goods, south-facing patio, even the leaky bi-fold front windows but mostly just because it was our once-a-week cafe. Tom Christopher, one of the regulars who always arrived earlier than the BMW group, would save the front center table for us until we had a “quorum,” which meant just two women. It was what German-speakers would call our Stammtisch.
We regulars were sad when the Book End closed and have been semi-homeless, trying to find an equally congenial replacement, but Riffs Urban Fare, the restaurant that now occupies the space, has retained a few treasured artifacts, notably the big ball of string and the architectural cornice high on an exposed brick wall. It’s a nice nostalgic touch.
The scene on a recent Friday evening with an impending C.U. home game was energetic, both at the bar and at the tables. It already seems to be a new Boulder hotspot. Opened recently by the talented John Platt of Q’s at the Boulderado, Riffs on the Pearl Street Mall calls itself a “foodbar” and serves attractive and well-conceived small and semi-small plates. (Apologies for photographing my own shadow. The lighting tended to trick the camera — or at least the photographer).
Price check: In the evening, small plates, $6-$11 plus Denver Bread Co. boule with white bean purée and sea salt, $2; salads and soups, $5-$11 plus antipasto plate, $15; vegetables, $4-$5; “Pasta & Such,” $10-$15; sandwiches, $8-$10 including fries or salad; “Other Fun Stuff,” $13-$15 (fun including steak and duck confit; desserts, $8.