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:


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.

Catering is available on a pick-up basis as we build out our delivery system. For large-scale, advance orders, shoot us an email! We’re happy to work with you to get you what you need.

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

Thursday, March 22

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Public meetings are essential to journalists and a bedrock of civil society. Through the Documenters program, City Bureau is doubling down to ensure these meetings don’t go uncovered, but we need your help. This week’s Public Newsroom features our Director of Community Engagement and Co-Founder Andrea Hart, who will be leading a training on how to cover public meetings. She’ll be going over elements of City Bureau’s Documenters program—how to join, how to get an assignment, how to submit an assignment—as well as asking for your feedback on how we can improve our fastest-growing program. After the event, attendees will be invited to join City Bureau’s Documenters program, where members of the community are paid and trained to inform and engage the public.

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Thursday, March 29

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

The 2017 Women’s March saw an estimated 5 million people take to the streets to advocate that “women’s rights are human rights.” Media coverage ranged from calling the march a moment of unity to a moment of critique for feminism that has often centered white cis-women. In the documentary Why We March, filmmakers Theresa Campagna, Isaura Flores and Laurie Little used the latter framework to cover the historic moment. One of the central questions of their film: How can media prepare this generation (and the next one) of feminists be more inclusive to end sexism? During this week’s Public Newsroom, the filmmakers will show clips of  Why We March for discussion and also talk through what mainstream media gets wrong when covering feminist issues.

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Friday, March 30

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Congratulations on making it through flu season! It’s time for another game night at Build Coffee with Game Changer Chicago. This month we invite you to join us as we play a selection of disease-themed board games, one of which was developed by our hosts! We’ll be playing Pandemic and Infection City, two epidemiological strategy games, and Zombie Fluxx, a zombie uprising card game. We’ll split into groups to play them simultaneously, and rotate as the night allows!

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Thursday, April 12

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

What would it look like to address culturally tone-deaf reviews in the art world? How can the next generation of art critics unlearn racist frameworks? These are questions answered in a series of trainings offered by the Art Leaders of Color Network – ALCN (ACLN). And this week at the Public Newsroom, ACLN’s Felicia Holman will be answering just that with the “Remix The Critique 2” workshop. This session is based on the yearlong work of the Critical Review Task Force out of Links Hall. The evening will feature discussion and activities to: introduce the ALCN and the Critical Review Task Force; share and codify guiding principles for differentiating between constructive vs problematic art reviews; and recruit participants for ALCN membership. As always the Public Newsroom is open to everyone, but the ACLN is especially looking for writers of color and intergenerational writers who want to learn how to review work by artists of color. This event has been rescheduled from February 9.

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Friday, April 13

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Ireashia Monét is a Chicago-based photographer, multimedia artist, and emerging filmmaker. In their work, Monét uses the camera as a weapon against erasure, silence, and the invisibility of marginalized communities and stories. Join us on April 13 for the opening night of “The Pearls My Mother Gave Me,” Monét’s ongoing exploration of intergenerational trauma, the residual effects of abuse in the lives of the women in their family, and their personal fight toward radical healing and self-love. At 6:30 we’ll screen Grandma’s Wisdom (2016) and The Pearls You Gave Me (2018). Afterward, Monét will hold a public conversation with their grandmother on the series. For the first time, Gwendolyn Bennett (Monét’s grandmother) will speak on her experience working on Grandma’s Wisdom and how it has changed how she sees herself as an older black woman, as well as the impact of feeling heard and understood.

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