Mildred’s Original Downtown Spot Shifts to More Visible Quarters

Mildred's will relocate its central business district operation to the historic LaRue building at 908 Baltimore this summer.

By Kevin Collison

Most people associate Mildred’s, the popular cafe and coffee shop, with the Crossroads Arts District.

But did you know there’s another Mildred’s in downtown, one that predates the Crossroads location at 19th and Wyandotte by almost a decade?

That’s why Mildred’s is relocating from the lobby of the Ten Main Center building where it’s been since 1997 into more visible quarters in the historic La Rue building at 908 Baltimore.

“The Ten Main space was out of the limelight,” said Evan Ashby, a member of the family that runs Mildred’s. “It was successful, but not everybody knew about it.

“We’re just hopping across the street and this opens the door to people who didn’t realize we were there in the first place.”

Interior rendering of the new Mildred’s location. (Image by Hermanos Design)

The 2,500 square-foot location in the LaRue building is a bit larger than the Ten Main location. The family plans to have it open by late summer.

The La Rue building is one of several purchased by Denver investor Craig Slawson of Epoch Developments. His holdings included the revamped Kansas City Club next door.

“Mildred’s has been a downtown staple for 22 years and we’re pleased this foodie icon chose 908 Baltimore for its expansion,” Slawson said in a statement.

“We are purposefully adding to this eclectic Baltimore neighborhood and will have more announcements coming soon.”

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.

In a statement, Debbie Luce Ashby, the owner of Mildred’s and Evan’s mother, said “the Baltimore area is really buzzing and we feel fortunate to be a part of it.

“We have loved serving the north end of downtown since the mid-1990s and are excited to expand our space and have a welcoming entry onto such a fantastic street-front for Mildred’s.”

The Mildred’s family (from left) Jeremy Luce, Debbie Luce Ashby, Evan Ashby and Clayton Ashby. (Photo from Mildred’s)

Evan said the Ten Main location had done well, particularly when the 21-story office building was fully occupied and anchored by AMC Entertainment. But after the movie theater chain operator relocated to Leawood, activity slowed down.

“We never fully recovered,” he said.

“The building had an identity crisis and went to a residential plan. They’ve done a beautiful job, but occupancy has never been back to where it was before.”

In the meantime, Mildred’s reputation was soaring in the Crossroads.

“It was time to make a move to help building our brand,” Evan said.

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