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Josh Schwartz

Featured Article

Bring on the Bourbon

Article by Libby Furns

Photography by Scott LeBaron

Originally published in Arvada Lifestyle

If you haven’t been to The Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge, you are missing out on delicious food, fine whiskey, and outstanding customer service. Visionary and owner Sheena Gordon and her husband Drew, came from North Dakota to Colorado, knowing not a single person and having no idea where they’d live; they drove around aimlessly, and stumbled upon Arvada. Immediately drawn to the charm of Olde Town, they knew they had found the perfect place to open their Kentucky inspired lounge.

Upon entering this local gem, you’ll be greeted by manager Josh Schwartz or Ryan McDermott. These gentlemen love coming to work everyday, and make every person who enters want to stay awhile- and stay awhile is exactly what people do: “We want the community to feel like the business is a place they can come anytime and with anyone - their children, their parents, their coworkers, partner, and even by themselves- and always be welcome and treated the same.” If you come in the morning, you’ll have to choose whether the Toasted Marshmallow & Mocha latte or Lavender & Vanilla latte fits your mood. If you arrive in the afternoon, you’ll have to choose between the Always Dreaming and the Funnycide pizza: garlic, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper, buffalo mozzarella, and arugula, or Bourbon BBQ sauce, chicken, jalapeno, onion, and cheddar. If you come in the evening, you won’t be able to leave the live music, so you’ll have to order the Jalapeno House-Infused Medley Bros. Bourbon as well as the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, and maybe two or three more cocktails.

Born in Kentucky, Sheena has been involved in the restaurant business since she was a little girl, for her family owned and operated a local pizza restaurant. Sheena has been a host, a server, a bartender, and a manager, and it was her dream to “ day open her own spot, and tie it back to her Kentucky roots.” The Bluegrass does just that; it honors Kentucky through bourbon, and honors Sheena's family through serving pizza. Every single day, Sheena feels blessed to be living her dream and doing so alongside kind, generous, gratuitous people: “Not only the tight knit family of employees, but all the amazing customers we get to share our lives with. Many of these customers have turned into weekly regulars, friends, and even family.”

In addition to unmatched customer service, The Bluegrass has made the list of the Top 99 Bourbon Bars in America for 5 years in a row, and that in turn draws a diverse crowd from all over the country: “It's exciting to build one of the most popular establishments in Arvada and watch the process along with everyone,” says manager Josh Schwartz. As he reflects on the business’s greatest successes and challenges, he cannot help but smile so big and speak with such fervor, for he loves this spot and everything it stands for:

“Customers often say that The Bluegrass feels like home because of the welcoming staff that has been here for years and the coziness of the spot.”

Despite the challenges in recovering from the pandemic, Josh is comforted by and proud to be a part of this incredible community, rooted in loyalty and love: “We chose to keep all employees and pay them what they had been making, and we had to work very hard and be very creative in order to do this.”

Whether you choose the convenience of delivery, the warm and cozy indoor seating, or the open lounge on the inviting back patio, The Bluegrass is a memorable experience that will have you addicted after just one lovely visit. “It might be the coffee, pizza, bourbon, cocktails, live music, or the scenery. We believe it's the friendly staff that keeps customers coming back and we take pride in that.”

  • Managers Ryan McDermott and Josh Schwartz
  • Josh Schwartz