Ami Cusack, Common Grounds LoDo

Full disclosure: We work a couple of blocks from CG LoDo, so we’re regulars—and Cusack, a former Survivor cast member, was a 5280 cover girl about six years ago. However: The first time we were wowed by Cusack’s sunny demeanor behind the counter was on a particularly gray day just a few months ago, when she complimented our outfit, from the earrings to the boots. We were stunned. When does the girl who pours your early-morning coffee ever pay attention to you? In Cusack’s case, almost always. More recently, we strolled in and ordered a harvest chai (made with apple cider for a little extra spice). Disappointingly, the shop was out of cider, but Cusack’s face lit up. “Have you ever had a dirty chai?” she asked. Before we could respond, she set about whipping up a frothy, steamy work of art that turned out to be a chai latte with a shot of espresso and a layer of foam almost too pretty to slurp. Forevermore, Cusack was our girl; the only barista around who could take our sad, chai-less prospects and turn them into a fragrant, wakeful morning—all of her own accord. 1550 17th St., Ste. 110, 303-296-9248,

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1550 17th St., Ste. 110
Denver, CO