Poor Richard’s Cafe: a History Told Through Books, Board Games, and Bites

A small door on Tejon Street offers entrance into a quaint cafe. Hand-painted, intricately printed, and beautifully photographed cards line one side of the cafe, while a comfortable red booth occupies the other. The space has become home to many in the Colorado Springs community. Grandparents play with their granddaughter and her new toys; young students work on their laptops; middle-aged people solve puzzles in the newspaper, or read books of poetry borrowed from the bookstore next door. 

Poor Richard’s is split into three sections: a coffee shop, a toy store and gift shop, and a restaurant and wine bar. Although mostly referred to as the convenient coffee shop just a block down from The Wild Goose Meeting House, Poor Richard’s is much more. 

Photo by Matthew Maciag

The cafe actively advertises itself as a space for community engagement. Poor Richard’s calls for local musicians, artists, and distributers to introduce their work into the atmosphere. Rico’s, the restaurant and wine bar chapter of the space, offers live music Thursday through Saturday and invites community members to sit with glasses of wine and enjoy the art on display. 

The menu offers a variety of delicious food, from a make-your-own-pizza section, sandwiches, and burgers, to soups and salads. The cafe creates a series of tapas-style plates for customers to share, such as the hummus plate, cheese plate, olive plate, and bread plate, which pair well with an individual soup or salad order, leaving your stomach full and taste buds stimulated for under $10. The pizza is also delicious; it is made in-house on a thin crust, and it is the perfect combination of cheesy, crispy, and flavorful. For any vegan or gluten-free customers, Poor Richard’s offers an entirely customized vegan/gluten-free menu with the same variety of dishes. 

The cafe also has separate beer, wine, and cocktail menus, serving craft drinks and unique combinations of liquor and flavor. Poor Richard’s welcomes customers looking for all types of experiences, allowing its atmosphere to morph and mature with the day. 

Walking through the bookshop and toy store is a trip down memory lane, with board games like Apples-to-Apples, Clue, and Candyland on display, along with all kinds of trinkets, mugs, and posters displaying wholesome phrases and childhood references. “The area is soft and glowing — very relaxing, and I find I can be very productive,” said Elsa Godtfredsen ’19. 

Poor Richard’s has been open and running for about 40 years now, a staple of the downtown Colorado Springs scene. Richard Skorman, one of the owners, landed the opportunity to save a closing bookstore during his senior year at Colorado College and bought the stock for a space that now offers more than just books. Ever since, Poor Richard’s has been an evolving environment that continues to welcome people for simple enjoyment. Skorman dreamed of a location where locals could both “feed and read.” Since, restaurants like The Wild Goose Meeting House and STIR have mimicked the combination of literature, music, good drinks, and fresh food. 

Poor Richard’s is not just a coffee shop sitting among all the other cafes on Tejon Street; it is a locally driven representation of an artistic, inclusive, and inviting Colorado Springs history.  

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