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. Applications are currently open through July 31, 2019. 

The newsletter archive is available here.

Build Coffee hours


Build will be closed Thursday, July 4.

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.

Saturday, July 20

9:00 am — 1:00 pm

Prisoners need books! Prisoners need zines! Stop by the Build Coffee patio on July 20 during the 61st Street Farmers Market to meet Vicki White from Chicago Books to Women in Prison and Casey Goonan from True Leap Press. Donations welcome: Please bring gently-used paperback dictionaries, true crime or urban fiction!

Chicago Books to Women in Prison sends free books—nearly 13,500 in 2018—to women and trans people locked up across the US. They provide a critical intervention into an oppressive system by offering the self-empowerment, education and entertainment that reading provides. True Leap Press publishes the journal Propter Nos, a platform for Black and radical antiracist theoretical and cultural work. They also distribute free political education zines to prisoners across the country, with a focus on enabling prisoners to (self-)organize political education groups.

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Thursday, August 1

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

It’s been 100 days since city council elections, and all August City Bureau is hosting workshops on alderperson accountability. The series will be tackling two questions in wards around the city: What has your alderperson been up to since taking office? How do can we hold city council accountable in between elections? City Bureau has designed activities with Chicago United for Equity to walk attendees through these questions. We’ll unpack what committees your alderperson is on as well as budget spending, service delivery and development in your ward. On August 1 they’ll be in the 20th Ward at Build Coffee, where Jeanette Taylor was elected during an April 2nd runoff and took office in May. Read more about her election here.

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Saturday, August 3

9:00 am — 1:00 pm

Stop by the Build Coffee patio on August 3 during the 61st Street Farmers Market for the loveliest ceramics by Pottery By Pai! Grace Pai is the maker and ceramics enthusiast behind Pottery By Pai. She is part of the artist community at the Hyde Park Art Center and creates handmade, functional ceramics, including mugs, bowls, vases, plates, and colanders. As a racial justice organizer in Chicago, Grace finds the ceramics studio to be a place of refuge and rejuvenation. Pottery is her way of channeling her emotions about the state of the world into beautiful, practical pieces others can enjoy.

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Saturday, August 10

9:00 am — 1:00 pm

South Rhodes Records is returning to the Build Coffee patio four times this summer to bring you the best vinyl your turntable’s ever played! SRR is an online vinyl record store founded in early 2018 by Grant Crusor. Their goal? Intentionally curate your record collection by shining a light on the best Hip-Hop, Jazz, and R&B on wax. Operating from Woodlawn, they provide the best in new and reissued music as well as rare, mint-condition originals. These pop-ups will take place on May 11, June 15, July 13, and August during the 61st Street Farmers Market. Pick up some music to spin with your local fruits and veggies!

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Saturday, August 17

9:00 am — 1:00 pm

Adornamorphosis Jewelry by Ruby Pinto was such a hit in May, she’ll be back August 17! If you missed Ruby before now is your chance to snag some of the coolest copper jewelry in the city. Ruby Pinto is an artist and organizer based in Chicago. She’s inspired to make art out of repurposed materials, and when she has the chance, she loves to create work that must be touched and even taken apart to be fully enjoyed. A founding member of For the People Artists Collective, Ruby believes that artistic expression and creative collaboration are at the core of liberation. Her jewelry is made mostly of scrap metal, primarily copper, sourced from construction and demolition projects in Chicago and Pittsburgh, PA. She’s also recently integrated ethically-sourced bones into her work, and loves to highlight the intricacies and simplicity of nature’s designs in the jewelry she creates.

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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.