FARGO - The owners of Fargo Coffee are saying ‘See you latte!’
The coffeehouse, near North Dakota State University at 1020 19th Ave. N., is closing its doors Saturday, Feb. 16, just 10 months after owners Skyler Dutton and his wife Nicole Steen-Dutton bought the business.
They plan to go out in style, holding a latte art throwdown from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. that evening.
The tournament-style competition will require caffeinated artists to pour their hearts into proving they can make the most clear and symmetrical latte art.
“Fargo Coffee has to close, but that doesn't mean we can't have a good time on the way out,” the company’s Facebook page says. “Tell your friends, let’s make it a party. $5 entry fee. Winner winner chicken dinner (winner) take all. All skill levels welcome.”
Dutton said that the couple purchased the shop in April, then learned in August that the firm that owns the neighboring Holiday gas station and the building didn’t want a competing coffee shop next door and decided to end the lease.
Dutton said he doesn't think his customers - professors, students, neighborhood groups and local business people - who stay to chat over drinks and snacks, are the same customers that cycle in and out of the gas station and convenience store, but he wasn't able to convince the building's owners otherwise.
“Finding a spot to relocate wasn’t in the first year’s budget,” Dutton said Monday, Feb. 11.
The java joint was opened in March 2017 by sisters Paige Loftus and Sunday Stevens, who were co-owners and managers.
Dutton said he and his wife, who own mobile coffee catering service Thunder Coffee, bought the store from the Stevens family.
He said they appreciate the loyalty of their regular customers, but don’t plan to jump into owning another coffee shop right away.
“We’re going to think about it for a while. Put a pin in it and wait for the right one to come along,” Dutton said.