The People in Your Neighborhood
By Ty Bannerman
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Authentic “mom and pop” shops have become rare enough these days that finding the real deal alive and well in a major city seems like a cause to celebrate. And Duggan’s Coffee, subtly located in a nearly unmarked storefront in the University Heights area, definitely fits the bill. There’s Mary Scanlan—mom—in the back cooking up some eggs; here’s Kevin Scanlan—pop—sprucing up the paint on the outer wall; and Gavin—son—mans the register and the espresso machine, serving up cappuccino and small talk with equal facility.
The family atmosphere combines with the bright, well-appointed space—all warm wood accents and deep reds in a surprisingly spacious seating area (Kevin is a former architect, so he knew what he was doing when he designed the interior)—to provide as comforting a caffeine sipping environment as one could ask for. No wonder that in its short life it’s already attracted a handful of regulars, myself among them. Frankly, it’s nice to have a new café in the university area that provides an alternative to the bohemian earthiness of Winning and the often-overcrowded buzz of Satellite. Duggan’s is a quiet, friendly and comfortable place to get a cup of joe, plain and simple.
That straightforward simplicity extends to the menu as well. Beyond the newspaper-oriented item names (Kevin’s father published a paper in Kansas City), breakfast offers little in the way of frills. The Morning Edition ($6.40) is two eggs cooked to order, hash browns, bacon and toast. The Metro ($4.00) is a couple of pancakes and, for a dollar more, bacon. The Op-Ed ($5.40) is a breakfast burrito. It’s all good, but there’s nothing unexpected or remarkable here. This is breakfast with mom and pop.
Frankly, it’s nice to have a new café in the university area that provides an alternative to the bohemian earthiness of Winning and the often-overcrowded buzz of Satellite. Duggan’s is a quiet, friendly and comfortable place to get a cup of joe, plain and simple.
Things get a little fancier on the new lunch menu, just added a few weeks back. The Editor ($7.50) is a BBQ pulled pork sandwich, given an extra kick of New Mexican warmth and flavor with some Chimayo red chile. The pork is melt-in-your-mouth tender, sweet and ever-so-slightly spicy, and the overall effect veers toward carné adovada on a bun. The Journalist ($7.25) is a Greek salad, bright and fresh, with plenty of feta cheese and kalamata olives beneath a house-made dressing. There’s also a turkey panini (the Publisher, $7.50) and the requisite green chile stew (the Fact Checker, $5.50). And that’s it, really. Again, straightforward and simple.
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
And that’s because the mission of this café isn’t about the food. It’s about having a comfortable spot to grab an espresso drink, stake out a corner seat and riffle through a New York Times; or fire up the laptop and get some work done; or maybe sit down with a friend and have a quiet chat; or just linger at the counter and talk sports or politics with Gavin. It‘s a neighborhood café, in other words, and a damned good one at that.
2227 Lead SE
Hours: 6:30am to 2pm Tuesday through Friday
7am to 2:30pm Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday
Price range: $5 to $7.50
Vibe: Caffeine laced hangout
Vegetarian options? Yes
Extras: Wifii, newspapers and conversation
The Alibi recommends: The Editor (pulled pork sandwich), the Journalist (Greek salad), homemade bran muffins
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