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Hanging at the Hanging Tree

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Located in the heart of historic downtown Pueblo, the Hanging Tree Café welcomes customers with a stylized skull logo and the scent of freshly brewed coffee.

The outside of the building appears relatively normal and blends in perfectly with the rest of them on Union Avenue, but once the door is opened, the Hanging Tree is anything but.

Students may better know the Hanging Tree by its former name, the Daily Grind. The name was changed a few months ago in the interest of differentiating from all the other “Daily Grinds” popping up all over the U.S.

There is some speculation about the significance of the name change, but according to the café’s owners, the Hanging Tree chose to honor Pueblo’s history. The café itself sits on the sites of Pueblo’s storied hanging tree, which was chopped down in the 1880s. Local legend says 14 people were hanged from the massive cottonwood, but historians have been unable to prove this claim.

The first thing a new customer might notice is the interesting décor. The works of local artists are proudly displayed anywhere a nail will fit. The café consists of several conjoined rooms and each has a unique feel to it. The tables and chairs are delightfully mismatched—including one that looks like a giant red hand—and the murals on the walls blend seamlessly with the other art on display.

On the menu, drinks are abundant and affordable, most under $5, and there’s much more to choose than coffee. One of the Hanging Tree’s signatures is the “Wall of Tea,” floor-toceiling shelves with a huge variety of teas to choose from, such as French blue lavender. Might not sound like something good to drink, but with a little honey, the flavor is as good as the smell.

The only downside: Hot tea is brewed extremely hot, so sip with caution.

The Hanging Tree also boasts an expansive menu of all-day breakfast and lunch options, from smothered breakfast burritos to salads and sandwiches. Everything is crafted fresh. What should be cold is cold, and what should be hot is hot.

If you’re a fan of bacon, the C.O.B.A.L.T. sandwich is the way to go. It’s what every B.L.T. wishes it could be like. This sandwich features a couple thick cuts of Applewood smoked bacon, crispy lettuce, blue cheese, tomato, avocado, onion and a unique bell pepper dressing made in-house. They’ll slap it all on your choice of bread or a wrap. At $10, it’s a little pricy, but well worth the cash. With a drink, dinner cost about $13.

After ordering from the menu at the front counter, guests can seat themselves and sip their drinks until their meal arrives. At a relatively busy time of evening, the C.O.B.A.L.T. took about 10 minutes to get to the table.

The Hanging Tree Café is a great place to grab a quick drink or sit down and enjoy a nice meal. With dependable Wi-Fi, there’s almost no reason to leave.

If Colorado State University-Pueblo students don’t already know to flash their student IDs while registering, they definitely should—there’s a discount of 10 percent for university students.