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Late Night Eateries Transform Fort Collins Into a ‘City That Never Sleeps’

old town alley at night

Fort Collins is a college town, and there are many stores open late for students who are pulling all-nighters to get all their work done or for those who are coming home late from a fun night out.

Alleycat Coffee House
Alleycat Coffee House is a popular place to study and for a late night snack or drink. Photo credit: Audrey Potter

Alleycat Coffee House

With a number of these late night places, on, in particular, is open 24/7. Alleycat Coffee House is located in the alley, hence the name, on West Laurel St. in between South Mason St. and South College Ave. It is joined in the alley by Damn Good Tacos and Algiers Hookah Lounge.

Alleycat is a coffee shop, so a majority of the customers that come in are typically students who are there to get some work done.

“If it’s finals week, every type of student is here,” Tedla Tyndall said, a Fort Collins resident who has been working at Alleycat for four years. “You get regular procrastinators that become like regulars over the course of the end of their projects. They always become friends.”

Since this is a place that is open 24 hours, there are constantly people coming in and out and there is a need for employees to cover the extremely late night shifts.

“I try to stay away from caffeine. That’s more of a recent thing,” Tyndall said. “Obviously caffeine helps a lot. You’re sleeping schedule gets so messed up a lot that you don’t even need caffeine at a certain point.”

Insomnia Cookies
Insomnia Cookies provides cookies until 3 a.m. every day of the week with an option for delivery. Photo credit: Audrey Potter

Insomnia Cookies

Located on South College Ave and West Laurel St. is Insomnia Cookies. Opening in October 2017, Insomnia Cookies is new to Fort Collins. Selling sugary goods, this is a spot to hit for those late night sweet tooth cravings.

“We get an interesting crowd,” Noah Mendez said, who is currently taking a semester off and has been working at Insomnia Cookies since it opened. “I’m personally a night owl so it’s kind of perfect for me. You see the city a lot calmer once you get out of work.”

Since a lot of people are sleeping by the time most of these places close, the nightlife in Fort Collins can be much quieter in comparison to when everyone is up and about. Yet, there can still be a lot of business for these late night places.

“You get a lot of students who, especially during finals week, that will come in and be like ‘yeah, we’re taking a study break at 2:30 in the morning.’ And I’m like you poor souls,” Mendez said.

Insomnia Cookies also provides a delivery option until 2:45 a.m., for those who do not want to leave their houses late at night.

Qdoba
Qdoba is open from 6:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 6:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Photo credit: Audrey Potter

Qdoba

In addition to these late night stops, there is Qdoba, which is open on Fridays and Saturdays until 3 a.m. and every other day until 12 a.m. Located on West Elizabeth St. and South Shields St., this corporate company tends to get the bar crowds late at night.

“We get really busy, very consistent,” Steven Ortega said, who has been working at Qdoba for a little over a year. “We usually get the rush from the bar after everyone gets out of the bar. People are very respectful. Every once in a while we’ll get somebody that is kind of, maybe a little too drunk but for the most part we stay pretty nice and consistent.”

For the workers who take these late night shifts, they usually have tactics to help them stay awake. For some, it is sleeping in or talking with one another to help each other keep from falling asleep.

There are cities known for never sleeping and this is true for college towns as well. Fort Collins residents will never need to worry about their stomach growling; there is at least one place open for rescue, no matter what time it is.

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