The Mercury Cafe serves up sustainable solutions for every appetite.
Organic Foods & Beer
The Mercury Cafe has been cooking organic for years. Not only do organic foods lack herbicides, pesticides and growth hormones, they are produced by people who are deeply passionate about food and committed to health. Our local wine, including our house wine, is served from keg taps. All our organic beer is from local brewer, Asher Brewing Company.
Local Foods & Cooking from Scratch
Buying from local farmers and ranchers keeps a great deal of CO2 out of the air, it strengthens community bonds and promotes the regional economy. Mercury meals have always been prepared from whole foods from scratch and we preserve 1.5 tons of apples, peaches, corn, tomatoes and peppers for Winter use.
Wind–100% Wind Energy from Xcel
All electricity is purchased from the Xcel Wind Source program, encouraging the development of wind farms. The Mercury Cafe was the first location within Denver to install rooftop wind turbines, generating 800 watts independently of the energy company. This resulted in a mayor’s award for design and excellence and updates to municipal building codes to make wind energy easier for everyone.
Working in conjunction with the wind turbines, 36 photo voltaic solar panels collect 6,300 watts of electricity directly from the sun, with no moving parts! By generating our own electricity, the Mercury Cafe reduces the need for expensive copper transmission lines, limits energy loss, and reduces pollution and Global Warming.
Since moving to 22nd and California, the Mercury Cafe has planted 57 trees in the neighborhood, providing cooling shade, while absorbing CO2 and returning oxygen.
Vines covering the windows and walls bring living green to the concrete and asphalt cityscape, absorb CO2 and help cool the building. Vines also cover the wall by the walk-in cooler so it can stay cool with less electricity in addition to providing us with 200 lbs of very local grapes each year.
Not only do swamp coolers moisturize by blowing air over water, they cool the restaurant with much less electricity than air conditioners. Ceiling fans provide low-watt cooling and heating throughout the building. We have installed a skylight in the corner of the office/kitchen space. The Mercury Cafe has passive cooling vents in all of the big refrigeration for winter use and we consolidate our refrigeration when we are not open. Our windows also open, providing natural cross ventilation.
LED and compact fluorescent lighting provides energy-efficient and attractive alternatives to traditional incandescent bulbs. We have motion detectors on the bathroom lights. On the stages we really save energy by replacing 500 watt hot incandescent bulbs with 12-28 watt LED’s.
Employing neighborhood workers strengthens the neighborhood and reduces fossil fuel consumption. Many employees walk, ride bikes, or take mass transit to work. The Mercury Cafe provides indoor bicycle parking and is located one block from the city light rail. Our founder/Chef drives an all electric small pickup truck.
Composting & Recycling
We created Denver’s first urban neighborhood compost system with two large bins. We compost all of our kitchen trimmings, coffee grounds and tea into our gardens and neighboring soils. We compost our dish line garbage and recycle all of the cardboard and paper, plastic and glass that we don’t reuse through Alpine.
Moondog Farms, 3 blocks away at 22nd & Tremont is shared by the Queen Anne Inn, Produce Denver and the Mercury Cafe.The Mercury has 10,000 sq. ft of beds. The first two years we established fruit trees, raspberry bushes and asparagus. We grew edible & cut flowers, herbs, tomatoes, okra, beans, squash and corn.
Now we are taking more of a permaculture approach and concentrating on the trees and perennials while establishing a medicinal and culinary herb garden to use for teas and cooking.
Here, right outside the doors of the Mercury, we grow flowers, herbs, berries and trees. 26 years ago nothing grew here, and now we have established an urban oasis that many people in the neighborhood enjoy.
In the Winter we use some passive cooling for our Big Beer & Food Refrigerators with cols air from outside.
In the Summer we open up our 12 Roof Vents to send the warm air outside.
We’re in the process of installing between 6000 & 8000 more watts of Solar Energy.