Coffee Cowboy

Coffee Cowboy owners Scott Keating, left, and Hailey Arnold stand in front of the Coffee Cowboy's current location on 133 East Colorado Ave. The popular coffee shop will soon move up the street, and inside, to the new Rustler Supply store. (Photo by Eva Thomas/Telluride Daily Planet)

For 12 years, Coffee Cowboy’s little green cart on Colorado Avenue has been emblematic of the community. In below-freezing temperatures, locals would gather around the patio for a cup of coffee and to share the latest town tea. Visitors come and snap photos of the cart covered in fresh snow with their drink, while the steam from a strategically placed mocha curls into the cold air, creating the perfect Instagram post.

However, after over a decade on the patio, the Coffee Cowboy is moving to a new location inside the recently opened Rustler Supply shop.

"We are relocating to a brick-and-mortar just a half block up. It will be in the old bank building where the bandit and namesake for one of our most popular drinks, Butch Cassidy, had a real heist in 1889" Coffee Cowboy shared in a Friday Instagram post, announcing the news.

Hailey Arnold and Scott Keating, who have owned the business since November 2020, knew a move was inevitable when they bought the business from previous owners Monique Milord and Josh Johnson.

"One of our goals taking over was to find a place to land. We knew the change was coming," Arnold said.

The Coffee Cowboy is setting up shop in the upstairs space of Rustler. Two months ago, Rustler co-owners Macy Pryor and Rebecca Adams approached Keating and Arnold with the idea.

"We were thinking about what to do with that upstairs space. Their brand is so similar and such a great fit with Rustler. We also felt like with Ghost Town closing, there was a need in town for a cozy spot to hang out inside. We went to them first, before we even considered doing something ourselves or talking to anyone else," Adams said.

The timing could not have been more perfect, as Adams referred to it as "serendipitous." Unbeknownst to them, Keating and Arnold had been on the lookout for a new location, for their landowner has plans to develop the coffee shop’s current location on 133 East Colorado Ave.

An online public hearing will be held on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. regarding the pending development application. Last week, a sign was posted outside Coffee Cowboy's patio informing the public of the potential development, with a QR code to the Zoom link.

"It is open for public comment. If people are curious about this, I really urge them going to that," Keating added.

Though change can be daunting, Arnold and Keating look forward to the next chapter of the business and emphasize it will remain the same community hub people know and love.

"It is the same old Cowboy. We are still running it and will have many of the same employees, same drinks, same burritos and same pastries. We don't want to change the essence of the Cowboy. It will just be a shift in the way it looks," Arnold said.

The new location is approximately 600 square feet and will have indoor seating. Keating, who also works as a carpenter, will lead the renovation as the general contractor for the project. Their lease begins in April, and renovation will occur during the spring offseason. As of right now, the plan is to open for business at the new location on May 22.

According to Arnold, they are not sure how long the cart will remain open before the move but said they will try to remain open as long as possible.

When looking for a new location, Arnold and Keating knew they wanted to stay on Main Street.

"We wanted to move somewhere where the local population can easily access it. That was super important to us, because we're here to serve the local community and visitors. Can people get coffee on their lunch? Is it right down the street? Is it easily accessible to the working local population?" Keating said.

A one-minute walk from the current Coffee Cowboy cart, the bank building checked all of their boxes.

As you walk into the foyer of Rustler, the area splits into two levels. Directly downstairs is the Western-themed store that opened last month, then to the left is a stairwell leading up to the second level — the future home of the Coffee Cowboy. Arnold envisions a divider and signage separating the two businesses so that the Coffee Cowboy can open before Rustler's current opening time of 10 a.m.

Adams is excited to have the Cowboy join them in the new space. She believes the two businesses are a perfect fit, not only in terms of themes and aesthetics but in their commitment to the community and keeping prices affordable for locals.

Arnold said the announcement has been well received by the community, and the Instagram responses from Friday's post gave her some insight on accepting change.

"There was some really positive feedback about the change. But the one thing that I like that a couple of people said was 'the only constant in life is change.' And it's how you brace for the change and how you react to the change," Arnold said. "I hope that people can understand that this change is going to be for the better."