Foxhound Espresso closed last month; owner says he’s in the process of opening a new cafe within a year |

Foxhound Espresso closed last month; owner says he’s in the process of opening a new cafe within a year

Sam Corey
Staff Writer
Foxhound Espresso & Coffee Broaster closed in February. The owner said he has plans to open a new cafe in about a year.
Sam Corey/

In 2015, Steffen Snell brought passion to Nevada City via his barista skills.

Foxhound Espresso and Coffee Broaster opened in August of that year, and the owner tried to leverage his experience and anarchical spirit for the job.

As of Feb. 17, Foxhound Espresso came to a close — or, a pause at least. Snell said he is currently taking a break, but already has plans to open a new cafe in Nevada City in about a year’s time, providing full beverage service and likely offering small plates like tapas and finger food.

For now, Snell said he’s trying to slow down and spend more time with his kids. He recently bought a dog.

One of the main catalysts for his decision to close the business was his father’s death, which occurred in October. That, he said, and having no days off was beginning to wear him down. Before the turn of the year, Snell said he was considering closing the cafe that his father helped him build, allowing him to begin things where they ended, so to speak.

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“There’s a weird sense of closure to it,” said Snell, noting that he was lucky to be embraced by a warm and supportive community, including his employees and customers. “It was such a neat team of oddballs — including the guests.”

Snell said he’s still working a bit, selling coffee wholesale to Three Forks Bakery & Brewing and to a few spaces in the Bay Area.

The cafe owner said he had cash offers to keep Foxhound going, but in addition to the daily grind and life changes, the building also offered problems, which seemed to outweigh its benefits, considering the high rent.

In the near future, Snell said he wants to offer all his old employees — about six to eight at any given time — jobs at his new shop.

He knows that opening a new cafe will be a difficult road to maneuver, but that ultimately it’s worth it.

“It’s going to be a pretty intense haul, but it’s not my first rodeo,” he said, adding “I’m just doing what I love and working hard.”

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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