How Ladro Grew

How Ladro Grew

Original Caffe Ladro logo witih Ladro ManKaty Kelly remembers a great cafe naming session. She recalls sitting with her brother, Jack, and Keri, his then girlfriend, just after he signed the lease on top of Queen Anne. “We were talking about what we would call the new café.  It was like naming a baby.  Avalon was a serious contender.  But Caffe Ladro, the Coffee Thief, won out. . . and thank goodness.  What an iconic character that  man has become!” shares Kelly.

Ladro grew from one to three Ladro Cafes in the ’90s

You remember those years:

  • Grunge rock on the radio
  • Clinton in the White House
  • Forrest Gump and then The Matrix at the movies
  • A little Y2K anxiety thrown in for good measure

First of Ladro Cafes: Upper Cafe Ladro Exterior Upper Queen Anne Caffe Ladro

 Lower Queen Anne Caffe Ladro

 West Seattle Caffe Ladro

We wish we had construction images from all our stores, but we did find some fun shots from the construction at the West Seattle location. In the first image, Jack Kelly is grouting tile. In the second image, Bob Ohly is helping the artist hang the hand-blown light fixtures. In the third image, store manager, Terri Roush is grouting tile with Jack Kelly.

Jack Kelly during West Seattle Caffe Ladro construction the third of Ladro Cafes Bob Ohly and Thomas Stemple hanging lights during West Seattle Caffe Ladro construction the third of Ladro Cafes Manager Terri Roush and Jack Kelly grouting the floor during West Seattle Caffe Ladro construction the third of Ladro Cafes


Between 2000 and 2002 Ladro grew to seven locations

The number of Ladro cafes increased to seven in the early 2000s. That time frame brings the following history to mind:

  • The September 11th terrorist attacks
  • Nickleback and Nelly topped the music charts
  • Lou Piniella was managing the Mariners

During those years, the company built four Ladro Cafes, which brought the total to seven.


 Fremont Caffe Ladro

Pine Caffe Ladro Pine Caffe Ladro

Capitol Hill Caffe Ladro Capitol Hill Caffe Ladro

Union Caffe Ladro Union Caffe Ladro

Ladro grew by three new locations in 2005

Then Project Manager, Frank Lawrence was a busy guy! These new locations took Caffe Ladro cafes to the Seattle suburbs.

Bothell Caffe Ladro Bothell Caffe Ladro

Edmonds Caffe Ladro Edmonds Caffe Ladro

Caffe Ladro Isssaquah Highlands Issaquah Highlands Caffe Ladro

Between 2007 and 2008, Ladro grew to 13 cafes

Lynnwood Caffe Ladro Interior Lynnwood Caffe Ladro

Kirkland Caffe Ladro Kirkland Caffe Ladro

Bellevue Caffe Ladro Interior Bellevue Caffe Ladro

Then in 2012 and 2016, Caffe Ladro added two more locations

And we made Sip Northwest’s list of top local chains and in 2017, we were voted Seattle’s favorite coffee shop according to Seattle Magazine.

1800 9th Street Caffe Ladro Downtown Seattle 1800 Ninth Street Caffe Ladro

South Lake Union Fairview Caffe Ladro South Lake Union Fairview Caffe Ladro

As Ladro celebrates our 25th year, we are building two more locations.

Opening soon is the location in the Ravenna neighborhood. Opening soon after that is the location at Kirkland Urban. As we celebrate, we hope you’ll visit to see how we’re the same as you remember and how we’ve grown. Please vote for your favorite locations on our Ladro Cafes page. Lastly, please mark your calendars for April 24th! We have a big thank you surprise planned for customers! We also love this recent interview with Founder, Jack Kelly that gives more personality to the Ladro story.

Recommended Posts
Showing 3 comments
  • Renaud Chomette

    I live in Seattle and would like to show my pictures at caffe Ladro in the next few months.
    I have been climbing for years in the PNW and I bring a Canon EOS Rebel with me on all trips.
    Could you share with me the person I need to get in touch with?
    You can check my Facebook page (under Renaud Chomette). I do remove pictures regularly as I have found that some people use them without my authorization. I can easily create a sample folder in the next few days should you require it.

    Let me know,


    • Ladro Roasting


      We’ve shared your request and your contact information with our Director of Operations. Thank you for connecting!

pingbacks / trackbacks
  • […] If you are curious to learn more about Ladro’s history, you can read about our first cafe, how Ladro grew, and about our […]

Leave a Comment