Colony Espresso and Beer Taps into NKC Community

Zach Henderson (left) and Drew Cobb (right) in front of the future home of Colony.

Zach Henderson (left) and Drew Cobb (right) in front of the future home of Colony.

Drew Cobb and Zach Henderson, co-owners of forthcoming Colony Espresso and Beer (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City), want to tap into the growing community and culture of coffee and beer in North Kansas City.

The business partners recently signed a lease on a 2,400-square-foot space along busy Armour Road and hope to open in mid-April once interior construction is completed. The location is a solid fit for the beverage-based business in the up-and-coming area. The thoroughfare connects many of Northtown’s small businesses, including nearby craft beer bar and movie theater Screenland Armour and Calibration Brewing Co., set to open later this summer.

“We were thinking about locations elsewhere including Hospital Hill and Quality Hill,” Henderson said. “Then we thought, ‘Why not here?’”

“There are not a lot of high-quality coffee shops in the Northland,” Cobb said. “And North Kansas City has become a hugely popular area for craft beer.”

Both Cobb and Henderson also have a personal connection to the Northland, where their families grew up. Cobb said, “We love the community here.”

Colony Espresso and Beer will not be a coffee roaster or a brewery, but instead a service-based model, where customers can pop in to grab a cup of coffee, shot of espresso, or pint of beer on tap. Cobb’s attributes his knowledge of coffee to working at a coffee roasting company in Chicago, and his time around coffee connections in Kansas City. Henderson brings his understanding of the craft beer scene and beer from breweries that fit his vision.

“We’ll have 12 taps that rotate beer,” Henderson said. “NKC only has a few options for bars that carry beer from smaller craft breweries. We’ll have a few standards but also new options to try.”

Henderson cites some of his favorite smaller and more specialized breweries that include Defiance Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin, Martin City Brewing, Prairie Artisan Ales, and Crane Brewing.

Cobb said, “We will have some beers that push the limit on flavors.”

For their selection of coffee, Colony’s founders plan to feature a rotation of multiple roasters including one that offers espresso beans, and local, regional, and non-domestic sources.

Cobb and Henderson envision a casual, comfortable feel for their shop that will naturally cater to “beer and coffee enthusiasts.”

“We want the same atmosphere as a craft beer bar or coffee shop,” Cobb said, “where people get together to drink, converse, and enjoy the company of others. We’re creating the space around the idea of sharing life and experiences with others in the same space.”

“The culture we want to bring is a place where people ‘do life together,’” Henderson said.

As such, the furnishings will include communal tables and large-format (750-ml.) bottles of beer designed to encourage sharing.

Cobb and Henderson have ample work to complete for construction and launching a business. While they have secured initial funding through investors, they have also established a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $20,000 by Sunday, March 20. The additional funds would provide capital to include some upgraded features and services in the beer and coffee cafe.


Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer and author of Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City's Best Chefs and Cooks.

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