I spent three and a half great years in Boulder and many, many hours in Atlas. Chris and the crew there created a place that was truly a home away from home for me and I’m sure many others would agree.
I moved to San Francisco a year and a half ago and I’m still trying to find a place that’s like Atlas. I know I’ll never find it. Atlas was truly one-of-a-kind.
I met some of my best friends in that coffee shop. I sat outside and hi-fived friends as they walked by, going wherever they were going. I wrote some of my first code there. Everybody who came through Atlas gave back in some way, it feels like.
The shop just had a great heart.
Chris taught me about tea; he taught me about life. He was and forever will be a friend, a tea slinger, and a wise man – behind that counter, and beyond.
Early Tuesday mornings sitting there at BOCC, listening to the discussion, talking to friends in a back channel in Beluga (remember that??), making makes on whatever was being talked about. Late nights closing the place out, writing, studying, shooting the shit with friends.
Too many iced blood orange and matés to count. Too many cups of hot maté with just a little agave.
My time in Boulder would not have been nearly the same without that little sanctuary on Pearl Street. The Boulder tech community, and countless other communities I’m sure can say the same.
My last stop in Boulder, before I drove out to San Francisco was Atlas. I made sure of it. Chris was waiting with a care package for the road for me and my co-pilot. He made my favorite drink and sent me off with well-wishes, a hug, and a place I could always come back to, if now it’s just in spirit.
Atlas closed about an hour ago now, I guess, and saying that I’m really going to miss it is an understatement. Coming back to Boulder just won’t be the same.
It’s hard to create an institution. That’s exactly what Chris did over the last four years.
You should be incredibly proud of the business you built and the space you created over the last few years. You brightened the lives of so many and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do just that. I can’t wait to see what comes next after Atlas, what you do with all of your heart and your passion and your talent. Thank you for all of the conversations, all of the tea, all of space you provided for people to come together, all of the time you spent listening.
Big ups, Doctor Rosen.
See you soon.
I came across the news this morning from Jess Ryan’s article in the Colorado Daily, “An Ode to Atlas.” As soon as I got the gist of it, I was hit with an unbelievable wave of grief, as though I had just eaten the wrong part of a fugu at Happy Sumo Sushi.
I felt like I just ate all the parts
And then grief set in.
No way. There is no way Atlas is closing. Something must be wrong here. It can’t be possible, the place is always packed. Maybe it’s a trick and they’ll announce their triumphant return in a few weeks. Just like New Coke.
THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!! DID THEY RAISE THE RENT TO FORCE ATLAS OUT?! PEARL ST IS JUST BECOMING ANOTHER GLORIFIED STRIP MALL BY FORCING OUT THE LOCAL BUSINESSES! WTF$#!(!%^*&)! I’M GOING TO WRITE A STERNLY WORDED TWEET TO SOMEONE.
Maybe I can do something, talk to someone, put something together and we can make this happen. I’d do anything to keep Atlas going, and I bet others would, too. Let’s get a Kickstarter going. Rally the community! DEW EET!
Damnit. This sucks. I love all the staff there, the atmosphere, the drinks and the customers. How will I go on without bubble tea, chocolate matte, or gemanchia? I’m not even going to be around for the last day.
I want to cry.
Chris is a smart guy, and all the people who work there are incredible; they’ll all move on to new and exciting things. I’m sure Chris has his reasons, as tough as they may be, I just hope I can support him in his next venture.
Thank you, Atlas
To the staff, thank you for your kindness, smiles, and amazing customer service. You are the best in the business.
To Chris, all joking aside, my heart is genuinely broken at the news. Please let me know what I can do to support you in your next venture, whatever it may be.
The theme song from cheers about sums up what we’re losing with Atlas not being around:
”Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same you wanna be where everybody knows your name.”
Damn sad to know this hub of community that changed my life and so many others wont be around anymore. So many good memories to hang on to and you better believe we’ll all be there together to boost whatever the next adventure may be.
End of an era for Fidatto and Atlas. I won’t be sad since they both enhanced my life and soul. Much gratitude to Chris and the whole crew!
Cheers to Chris
Chris is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. That sounds trite, but I mean it with the utmost sincerity. His warm smile and welcoming demeanor made Atlas the comfortable, community-friendly place that has served as an anchor for so many gatherings, events, late night study sessions and early morning meetings for the last four years.
I live in Denver, and Atlas has been my first stop in town or my last stop on the way out many times, particularly in recent months. I loved the chalk wall, the wonderful beverages, and really everything the coffee shop had to offer. It was local business at its best.
Chris, please know that your contributions to the community have not gone unnoticed. Your gathering place will be sorely missed for a long time to come. I am certain that someone with as much tenacity, kindness, and goodwill as you will be successful in your future endeavors. I will hold a hopeful space for you in my heart as you discover where the next turn on this road called life leads.
Legendary Gathering Place
Back when I worked at Apple, Ron Johnson would often describe his vision of Apple Retail as being a “legendary gathering place.”
It’s quite uncommon for any business to reach “gathering place” status. I, for one, would be cautious to make a claim that I have any significant emotional connection to a retail establishment. At the end of the day, it’s a business, and in my mind, most businesses exist solely as a means to an end.
But there is and always will be something special about the experience Chris and his team crafted at Atlas. I frequented the shop not just for my caffeine fix, but because Atlas meant something more to me than just the place where I would get a cup of coffee.
It’s difficult for me to put into words, but the contribution Atlas made to the community and the value I personally received from it will not be soon forgotten.
Thank you, Chris, and to the rest of the team, for creating a truly legendary gathering place.
A hot spot goes cold
Honestly it is sad to see such an awesome spot of Boulder move on, but thats life. I’ll never forget how inviting and open Atlas is to everyone. One of my favorite memories was making lots of twice baked potatoes for a misfit thanksgiving party we shared.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p>There is a <a href=”https://twitter.com/search?q=%23thanksgiving&src=hash”>#thanksgiving</a> boat party on its way to <a href=”https://twitter.com/AtlasPurveyors”>@AtlasPurveyors</a> soon! <a href=”http://t.co/fwwOEfDP”>pic.twitter.com/fwwOEfDP</a></p>— Matt Haltom (@matthaltom) <a href=”https://twitter.com/matthaltom/statuses/271766212667666432”>November 23, 2012</a></blockquote>
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It’s been a spot for tech nerds to meet and talk, now well have to forge a new prime location. I remember giving my first nervous talk about design there, and how everyone was supportive and always open to ideas. Something about tea/coffee and ideas will always bring people together.
I’ll remember meeting up early for tea and a breakfast bagel before heading into the foothill to climb, always the chillest mornings.
Even though Atlas was only with Boulder for 4 years, it’s still hard for any of us to imagine the town without it. Business and people have their stories and I’m sure Chris is doing the best thing for him so all the best, Atlas will be missed!
Atlas has truly been my home the last four years. This week’s column is an Ode to Atlas… I have so much more to say about Atlas than can be included in a few inches of newspaper.
Thank you to Chris and everybody who helped build such an incredible community. - Jess
I will miss you. I’ve spent some long lonely nights poring through books and working through breakups on your tables. That and meeting some of the best friends in the world within your doors. This will be hard.
Where else can I find such solid communal tables with lots of space for 1 or 4 and the friendly faces to go with? Or those super comforting tea lattes and bottomless cups of coffee? I can’t believe you won’t be there when I come back next for a visit.
So very sad to see you go!