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.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. 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.
Duggan’s Coffee2227 Lead SE312-7257dugganscoffee.comHours: 6:30am to 2pm Tuesday through Friday7am to 2:30pm SaturdayClosed Sunday and MondayPrice range: $5 to $7.50Vibe: Caffeine laced hangoutVegetarian options? YesExtras: Wifii, newspapers and conversationThe Alibi recommends: The Editor (pulled pork sandwich), the Journalist (Greek salad), homemade bran muffins