When the Analogue Bar opened at 222 N. Main St., one local seemingly fearless entrepreneur officially took over half of a block of Main Street with his businesses.
Mike Hartkop, who is the operating owner of the Solar Roast Coffee house at 226 N. Main, also recently opened the Analogue Books and Records store which occupies 218, 216 and 214 N. Main. The bar is nestled between the coffee and book stores.
It’s an amazing full-circle accomplishment for Hartkop, 40, who was one of the first graduates from the University of Tasmania, Australia, entrepreneurship and innovation program in 2004. It is all inspired by his job at a similar coffee and music store where he worked making bagels as a 20-year-old college student.
“It was the best place right downtown and it was wonderful and simply the most fun I’ve had in my whole life,” he said. “I always wanted to open a bar and a record store – something I’ve been talking about since college.”
He moved back to the United States and started Solar Roast Coffee in 2007. Simultaneously, he “just kept buying records,” he said.
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“I filled the basement under the coffeehouse with records. I think we have like 10,000 records right now, but it’s probably the best collection in the city of Pueblo, maybe the county,” Hartkop said.
When the COVID pandemic hit last year, all of his adventurous plans, “were dashed with one little virus. So we found ourselves with tons of time to do different things and I finally decided I’m going to do what I want to do because I want to have some fun,” he said.
Analogue Books and Records opened within six weeks during the pandemic and all those records were hauled out of the basement.
The bar has taken a bit longer to get rolling. He takes full responsibility, pointing out, “I am terrible at filling out liquor license paperwork — I’ve had this packet since 2016.
The packet was so old when I finally submitted it, the clerk just looked at me and said, ‘Where did you get this?” Hartkop said with a laugh.
After a few hiccups the liquor license was approved in October. Harktop is excited to see where the new venture goes.
“Somebody should be able to buy a beer or a latte and just go look through the racks of books and look through the racks of records,” he said.
“Bookstores and records stores hold our memories. A book is a memory and a record is like a visceral timepiece and so is coffee or your favorite beers — all these things are your emotions,”Hartkop said.
“I want someone to walk in off the street grab a beer, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and just peruse their memories. It’s just going to be so much fun,” he said.
Hours will be 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The bar will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Hartkop hasn’t stopped at Main Street, he also oversees the Solar Roast Coffee at 3206 W. Northern Ave. and Nick’s Dairy Crème at 528 E. 8th St. There also is a Solar Roast Coffee in Colorado Springs.
And when the Holmes Hardware building, 400 S. Union, opens in late spring or early summer next year, the first tenant lined up is Hartkop. He’ll offer the unbeatable combination of coffee and ice cream.
When Hartkop was told he should be invited back to the University of Tasmania to be honored as a prime example of what an entrepreneurship and innovation graduate can be, he said all he really does is, “make coffee and listen to music. My team are the ones who man the stores.”
“We’ve got a great crew right now and I am proud of them,” he said.
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