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 sell used books, local small press publications, journals, comics, art books, and zines.

We also run the Build Coffee Meal-Based Residency Program, a gallery show and residency aiming to nourish and sustain local art and artists.

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, pins, crewnecks, and gift cards 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 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.

Sunday, November 24

4:00 pm — 6:00 pm

Join audio producer Erisa Apantaku for an afternoon of candid and vulnerable conversation around decolonizing desire. After realizing most of the crushes she’d ever had were on white people, Erisa set out to understand why this was happening within herself. Interviewing her queer, non-white friends about their experiences led to a 10-minute audio piece commissioned by the BBC Radio program Short Cuts. The piece—an intercut chorus of voices, feelings, and stories—explores the origins of desire and the issues that can arise when people of color partner with white people. After listening to the audio piece, Erisa will facilitate a discussion touching on key things she asked interviewees and give participants an opportunity to record their own reflections on desire. *THIS EVENT IS FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR ONLY*

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Friday, December 6

6:30 pm — 10:00 pm

Join us for a Night Market at Experimental Station featuring your fave South Side artists and vendors. Come revel: get your holiday shopping done early and support Chicago projects! The night features live music from Ifeyani Elswith and Wheatpaste, a Warming Station open mic hosted by J Bambii, AQ & Binky, adult beverages, and snacks and supper from Build Coffee. For an up-to-date vendor list and full details, see here.

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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.