Mildred’s New Central Downtown Location Now Open on Baltimore

Debbie Luce Ashby and her son Evan Ashby (pictured) run Mildred's along with her son Clayton Ashby and nephew Jeremy Luce.

By Kevin Collison

Mildred’s has opened at 908 Baltimore, leaving its original location inside the Ten Main Center office tower for a more visible, pedestrian-friendly spot in the old La Rue Building.

The popular coffee shop and cafe originally started downtown in Ten Main long before it opened its better-known second location in the Crossroads at 19th and Wyandotte.

Over the years however, traffic at Ten Main has been sluggish because potential customers found it hard to find.

The success of the Crossroads cafe, which expanded into new quarters across the street last year, prompted them to look for a new site that could boost its profile.

Mildred’s seats about 70 people and the large plate glass windows of its historic space provide ample natural light.

“We’ve had a huge response at our Crossroads location,” said Evan Ashby, a member of the family that owns Mildred’s. “When we made the move, we hoped to reach our higher potential as a destination for food as well as coffee.

“We hadn’t seen the same result at Ten Main for 22 years and it was apparent we needed to find a similar story to the Crossroads.”

They believe the new location, which is just around the corner from Ten Main on a shady stretch of historic buildings on Baltimore, will do the trick.

It’s located close to office workers as well as downtown residents in the Library Lofts District. The new Mildred’s location also features large windows that provide lots of natural light, and allow passersby to check out the action inside.

The new Mildred’s is located in the old La Rue building which opened in 1945.

The new Mildred’s location adds more energy to a corner around Ninth and Baltimore that includes the Milwaukee Delicatessen and Banksia, an Australian cafe.

“There’s already a lot of energy happening here and we want to support it,” Ashby said. “We feel we can work well together and continue the renaissance of downtown.

“It feels that Mildred’s is back a home.”

Hours are still a work in progress, but the owners plan to have the new location open seven days a week with the goal of operating 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.