Meet the Harley-riding nurse who’s taking over Caffe Sanora’s spot on East Colfax

“There’s a joke: Every nurse has her vice,” said Naomi De La Torre, a 27-year-old medical professional. “For me, it’s motorcycles, bikes, long trips.”

Naomi De La Torre is co-owner of the new Triple Tree Cafe on East Colfax. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)
Naomi De La Torre is co-owner of the new Triple Tree Cafe on East Colfax. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)
Naomi De La Torre is co-owner of the new Triple Tree Cafe on East Colfax. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

“There’s a joke: Every nurse has her vice,” said Naomi De La Torre, a 27-year-old medical professional. “For me, it’s motorcycles, bikes, long trips.”

It’s good friends by her side and the sounds of the city — and that’s the spirit she and business partner Paula Horowitz are trying to capture in Triple Tree Cafe, the business they launched Wednesday at the corner of East Colfax Avenue and Marion Street.

The eatery and cafe is replacing Caffe Sanora’s CO 40, which is winding down operations after more than a decade. We’ve reached out to Caffe Sanora’s owner to find out where he’s off to next.

De La Torre and Horowitz — also a biker — are currently operating under the cafe’s old name. They’ll close early on Sunday and make some cosmetic upgrades to the well-lit space before reopening on Tuesday.

They’re planning to keep the previous spot’s focus on hearty breakfasts, with an emphasis on oatmeal. For the first few months, their hours will run 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’ll serve beer and wine, and they also plan to expand to evening hours later. A lunch menu will include globally inspired sandwiches, and they’re also planning for tapas and finger food.

Cafe Sanora, Colfax Avenue, Sept. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; city park west; restaurant; colfax;
Cafe Sanora, Colfax Avenue, Sept. 8, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

“Really, the whole point is human connection,” De La Torre said of the new business. She and her wife moved to Denver from Colorado Springs two years ago and own a home farther east on Colfax. The El Paso native still works the occasional nurse shift, but she’s given up her 60-hour weeks to pursue Triple Tree full-time.

Triple Tree Cafe is named after a motorcycle part that holds the machine together. De La Torre, a Harley rider, owns four bikes and met most of her new crew in Denver through the hobby. If Triple Tree does have a television, it will mostly show motorcycle races, she said.

Though there will be beer and wine, the new cafe will not have much of an alcohol culture, according to Horowitz, who lived near Colfax for 15 years.

“Specifically in the motorcycle culture, it tends to be directly correlated with grabbing a cold beer and a couple drinks,” she said. “We’re not big drinkers … so we wanted to provide a place that is really welcoming and open to people that might not frequent the bar or drinking scene as much.”

The new business has a five-year lease, De La Torre said. Rent is cheaper than RiNo but more expensive than Aurora, she added.

The place is getting off the ground with the help of some investor friends, but Triple Tree plans to launch an online fundraiser to support the new business.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.