BERNALILLO — Bad Ass Coffee went back to its origins in revamping its look, with the newly reopened Bernalillo location serving as a flagship-type site for what the company envisioned.

Bad Ass Coffee reopened its Bernalillo location on Monday, April 11, 2022. (Matt Hollinshead/Observer)

The new straightforward logo shows a donkey that carried coffee beans down steep slopes on the island of Hawaii’s volcanic mountain, preserving the company’s history. Instead of red, orange and yellow, the store features new blue and green colors, like the sea and land of Hawaii’s “Big Island.”

Additional espresso machines geared toward speed help the drive-thru move more efficiently. And there are new digital menu boards.

Bad Ass Coffee CEO Scott Snyder saw an opportunity for Bernalillo’s location, which reopened April 11, to be a key part of the rebranding effort.

“The new brand is really designed to be a little bit more authentic… More cues to surfing, more cues to the donkey,” he said. “When you kind of look at the coffee landscape right now, there’s really two kinds of coffee shops: They’re the very dark (colors) and industrial (colors) where they’re very, very bright… I think where the old design (of Bad Ass Coffee) may have been a little bit more like an amusement park, I think this design is very warm and very comforting… It’s an escape… That really does pay homage to Hawaii.”

Bad Ass Coffee launched in 1989 in Hawaii and now has 31 locations nationwide, including Bernalillo, Albuquerque and Alamogordo.

The Bernalillo location, at 965 US 550, on the south side of the highway, temporarily closed last year due to the road construction, as well as declining sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the chain’s corporate office wanted to keep that store intact, so it took control to include the shop in part of the broader remodeling efforts.

Snyder said the remodeled Bernalillo location is the most complete example of what the chain’s new brand looks like.

“Our intention was to use it as kind of a showcase for what all the new Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii stores will look like as new stores are being built,” he said.

Although the pandemic brought on delays in reopening the Bernalillo shop, Bad Ass Coffee didn’t want to lose its grip on that site. Bernalillo’s proximity to US 550 and I-25 was a key factor in the chain’s efforts to restore that location.

Here’s Bad Ass Coffee’s old logo. (Courtesy image)

“We thought the location was great. We love being in Bernalillo. It just took a while to get the planning together… It took us a lot longer to reopen than we had anticipated, but we’re really, really pleased with the result,” Snyder said. “Now that New Mexico is reopening, we think that the time was right… We just didn’t want to see it go, so we made the decision to invest in it. We’re really proud of it.”

Snyder said Bad Ass Coffee expects to put the Bernalillo location up for sale to a qualified franchisee later this month.

Additionally, the Bernalillo shop will hold its grand opening May 13.