Love Mug is a cozy slice of ‘60s nostalgia, nestled within the shopping center adjacent to Highway 50 that seems unassuming at first glance. However, walking into the little coffee shop can give the sensation of stepping back in time.
The shop opened May 20, 2017, and since then, the family-owned and operated coffee shop has been serving the Pueblo Community. Upon walking in and looking over the menu, the cashier provided a warm greeting and welcome. The line was a bit long and seemed to be moving slowly, but after seven minutes or so, we placed an order.
Pictures and artwork adorn the walls of the café, creating an atmosphere of both wistfulness and artistry. Several of the paintings – scenes from life, modern art and more – are up for sale. A 1960s theme runs heavy through the cafe in the choice of decor, the couch style and most importantly, the music.
The café is set up with a sound system, playing nothing but hits from the 1960s. During this visit, patrons enjoyed the soulful sounds of Wilson Pickett singing “Land of a Thousand Dances.” Following this, patrons heard the bombastic style of Jerry Lee Lewis pounding out “Great Balls of Fire” on his piano and were treated to no less than four songs by The Beatles: “Help,” “Come Together,” “Drive My Car” and “Paperback writer.”
Love Mug offers a variety of lattes, coffee and other drinks from which to choose. The menu selection is on par with other coffee establishments in Pueblo. The food menu offers several different types of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Crepes are available only on Saturdays.
In a matter of minutes, an experienced Batista can prepare an iced caramel latte and a black iced coffee. The caramel latte was the perfect amount of sweet, with just a touch of espresso for that coffee flavor. It’s not as sweet as Starbucks, which is a nice touch when looking for a sweet coffee drink. The only caveat with this first beverage is the cost-to-volume ratio. For a drink that’s a bit over $4.00, it was quite small. One may expect this at a place like Starbucks, but not quite as much at mom & pop establishments.
The black iced coffee size and cost were perfect, especially because refills are offered on the house blend coffee. The taste, however, was mediocre. The brew lacked the hints of smoke and the strength of most house blends, and it just didn’t have much of an edge to it.
The food is where the café truly shines. Two breakfast sandwiches, served on English muffins, with egg and cheese. One had cheddar and ham, the other pepper jack and bacon. Both were delicious and looked great, served with a side of red grapes. The food was prepared fresh in a kitchenette, viewable from the seating area.
At one point during the visit, one of the store’s owners addressed the customers, asking who owned the yellow Volkswagen parked outside. One man, working diligently on his computer, volunteered it was his car. The pleasant, personable people and the old fashioned atmosphere made the Love Mug an excellent place to grab a sandwich, do some homework, or just sit and chat.