Wild Goose starts to build community

The basic idea behind the just-opened Wild Goose Meeting House is simple. Owners Yemi Mobolade and Russ Ware are creating a new gathering spot.

The basic idea behind the just-opened Wild Goose Meeting House is simple. Owners Yemi Mobolade and Russ Ware are creating a new gathering spot.

The Wild Goose Meeting House is where you go to talk about a book, solve the world’s problems or simply knit with friends over a meal while sipping custom coffee, microbrew beer or fine wine.

Open little more than two weeks, the Wild Goose on the corner of Boulder and North Tejon streets already has a steady following.

Walk in the door and you’ll get a personal upbeat hello with your name on it from owners Russ Ware and Yemi Mobolade, or employee Chris Mueller.

Ware and Mobolade had a specific goal in mind when they opened Wild Goose: They wanted to create a unique community within the Springs community.

It starts with their espresso-maker, a Modbar Espresso Module. It looks more like a beer tap than a traditional boxy espresso maker. The guts of the machine are under the bar, rather than atop it.

“Instead of us having to talk over this big machine in-between us, there’s nothing there to block the conversation,” Ware said. “And we can show how it’s made and explain it all.”

Another distinction is the simplicity of the Wild Goose bar. Other coffee shops offer knick-knacks, gift cards, special mugs and the like, which serve to “create an unintentional wall between us and the customer,” Ware said. “We want to keep our bar as open and clean as possible.”

Chris Mueller pulls a shot of espresso, one of Wild Goose’s many offerings.

Chris Mueller pulls a shot of espresso, one of Wild Goose’s many offerings.

Wild Goose’s bar is clear of clutter.

“The experience of community [and] friendship is not new to our city, but there are places where you can emphasize that,” Ware said. “What we offer is designed to help be that kind of place.”

Artisan coffee, roasted locally, is brewed as an individual cup.

“It takes a couple of minutes, and we sit down and talk with each other about why we’re brewing it that way,” Ware said. “We designed the space to be warm and inviting.”

The coffee is typically not roasted over a week before it is brewed. Every morning, the crew measures beans in 10-ounce increments in individual containers. It is ground immediately before brewing.

“We focus on perfecting the single cup of coffee,” Mueller said, heating the water to 200 degrees before pouring it onto the coffee grounds, which had been placed in a Hario V60 ceramic coffee dripper.

“That way, you get nice, freshly ground coffee,” Mueller said. “It hasn’t been sitting around all day.”

The shop is also unusual in its selection of books to borrow and multiple-sized tables, one with 20 chairs around it.

“I don’t know if there’s another place in the Springs that has a table that seats 20,” Ware said.

The Wild Goose offers a “New World, trendy” wine list that last week included for their white selection, a Citrus Grove chenin blanc from South Africa, an Infamous Goose sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, and a California chardonnay called Wines that Rock Woodstock. For reds, there’s a Cline Ancient Vines mourvedre from California and more.

The restaurant offers only 12 craft beers from Colorado, with its anchor tap coming from four brews offered by the Pikes Peak Brewery in Monument.

“We consider Monument to be part of the Springs,” Ware said. “We really appreciate our partnership.”

The Wild Goose also offers beers from Bristol and TRiNiTY, both Colorado Springs establishments. Food complements the wines and beers.

“This kind of food is all designed to be in line with that community feel,” Ware said.

“We’re doing it all in a way that allows us to focus in each area on something we can do specifically well,” Ware said. It’s a short menu, with a few sandwich selections, a few salads and some items that may appear this week, but not next. The menus change every week.

For goslings (children), offerings include PB&J and a smaller grilled cheese.

How the staff manages to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, wine, beer and coffee items is “a challenge,” Ware said. “It’s something we’re still figuring out.”

But at the end of the day, while it sounds cliché, he added, “We’re not selling only a cup of coffee. We’re selling an experience.”

One Response to Wild Goose starts to build community

  1. Sounds amazing! I’ll head there this weekend!

    Jim H
    December 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm