6100 South Blackstone Ave, Chicago

Build Coffee is a coffee shop and bookstore in the Experimental Station on the South Side of Chicago. Surrounded by community-driven non-profits and civic journalism projects, Build is designed as a hub of great coffee and radical collaboration.

We act as a small venue for performances, workshops, gallery shows, book groups, game nights, and more. We also sell used books, local small press publications, journals, comics, art books, and zines.

The newsletter archive is available here.

Build Coffee hours:

 

The shop will be closed Thursday, November 22 through Sunday, November 25 for Thanksgiving and Sunday, December 23 through Tuesday, January 1 for Christmas and New Years.

Build Coffee is located at: 6100 South Blackstone Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
We’re in the Experimental Station, a non-profit working to build independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago. Our neighbors within the two-story brick building include bike shop/mentoring program Blackstone Bicycle Works and three of the most exciting journalism projects in the city: the Invisible Institute, City Bureau, and the South Side Weekly.

We also share the building with the 61st St. Farmers Market, a year-round market with fresh food from local and regional farms.

We have Build Coffee totes, mugs, pins, and coasters available in our online shop!

Our bookshop features carefully curated used books and new stock from local presses and indie publishers. If you’re an artist or small press and would like to get your books/zines/comics/chapbooks on our shelves, check out our consignment form and get in touch at books@buildcoffee.org. We also gratefully accept book donations!

We serve coffee from HalfWit Coffee Roasters, who are small like us but serious about their beans. Like we do, they think coffee should be thoughtfully sourced, roasted and brewed with love and skill, and served without pretension.

Our pie is from Justice of the Pies, an out-of-this world local bakery. We make our toast from Publican Quality Bread, which features local grains and award-winning, naturally leavened loaves. Whole boules and baguettes are available Wednesdays and Saturdays!

We cater hot coffee and tea, local pies and pastries, light lunches, and more—check out the menu here and get in touch at catering@buildcoffee.org or (773) 627-5058. $5-$10 delivery to Hyde Park & Woodlawn available with advance notice.

Build Coffee acts as a small venue for performances, workshops, gallery shows, book groups, game nights, and more. Interested in hosting with us? The shop is available to rent for public and private events. Shoot an email to our booker directly at events@buildcoffee.org.

Saturday, October 20

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

“I Still Believe in Dumb Things, I Think” is a space for memory, storytelling, and tenderness. It’s that place between where you want to be and what you want to mean. It’s wondering how everyone else made 24 look so cool and what you are doing wrong. It’s the box of things your mom is threatening to throw away that you’re too embarrassed to hold in your eyes one more time. It’s the sun giving you 10 more minutes on the last night of summer. And the things you wish you’d known 3 years ago.

Dan will read from their book, Another Dumb Thing. You can preorder the book, and buy an exclusive 11×17 poster, pick up some mini comics, and ask Dan about their cat. We’ll wonder what it was like when we had just started. And maybe (Dan hopes) you’ll share with them the things you wanted to mean when you were 17. Come with stories and that song you belted with the car radio when you were 10 and your mom ran into the bank.

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Thursday, October 25

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

For the past year, ProPublica Illinois reporter Melissa Sanchez has been investigating the impact of vehicle tickets on Chicago residents. Here’s what she found: thousands of Black drivers are filing for bankruptcy in order to cope with the consequences of Chicago ticket debt. Another investigation, in partnership with WBEZ’s Elliott Ramos, found that the city’s 2011 decision to increase the price of what was already one of the most expensive vehicle tickets—not having a city sticker—has led to massive debt for drivers, but not much more revenue for the city. Come to this Public Newsroom to learn about these ongoing investigations and to talk with the reporters about your own experiences with Chicago’s ticketing apparatus.

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Friday, October 26

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Voting in local elections can be pretty daunting. The ballot is long. The candidates are unfamiliar. And local politics are complex. But we tend to think you can make anything better when you do it with and for a community. That’s why Build Coffee, South Side Weekly, and IlliNoise are inviting you and your friends to come hang out and prepare your ballot with us before the Illinois 2018 General Election on Tuesday, November 6. Writers and editors from the South Side Weekly will answer your questions about voting and explain some of the more confusing local races (what the heck is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District?). Then we’ll break off into groups to help each other research candidates and fill out our ballots, either on paper or using BallotReady.

Please bring a friend and also a laptop, if you have one. We’ll have light refreshments (probably including pizza) and this party is BYOB, so you’re welcome to bring a fun adult beverage of your choice. This event is free but there is limited space, so we ask that participants pre-register here.

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Tuesday, October 30

6:30 pm — 8:00 pm

This is a monthly meeting by and for sex workers focusing on self care. All genders welcome! See a full calendar of related events in Chicago here.

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Saturday, November 3

11:00 am — 12:00 pm

Join us for our monthly story time at Build Coffee with the Chicago Birthworks Collective! Storytellers Bess Cohen and Tayo Mbande will be reading books about growing families, sharing, working together, and siblinghood! Fun for storybook enthusiasts of all ages, but especially those 0-6. Come early or stay after to enjoy the 61st Street Farmers Market, Chicago’s premier South Side farmers market, open Saturdays from 9am-2pm at 61st and Dorchester.

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Tuesday, November 27

6:30 pm — 8:00 pm

This is a monthly meeting by and for sex workers focusing on self care. All genders welcome! See a full calendar of related events in Chicago here.

Learn more →

We’d love to hear from you. To get in touch, email info@buildcoffee.org or fill out the contact form below.