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:


We will be closed on Monday May 28, 2018 for Memorial Day.

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 shop is available to rent for public and private events. Shoot an email to our booker directly at events@buildcoffee.org.

Thursday, June 21

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Lots of voters have strong opinions about the top of the ballot (president, governor), but there are a lot of challenges to voting in “downballot” races: lack of media coverage, limited understanding of smaller government offices, lower visibility of candidates, etc. At this Public Newsroom, we’re working with BallotReady, a startup that began in Chicago and now works nationally to create nonpartisan voter guides, to understand how people make these decisions and what would help them be more informed on downballot races.

Learn more →

Sunday, June 24

3:30 pm — 7:00 pm

Build Coffee is turning 1! Come by 6/23 after the 61st St Farmers Market—we’ll have roughly 100 Chicago Dogs, plenty of cold brew and lemonade, and several well-iced coolers for anything else you’d like to BYOB. There may be water balloons, a piñata, or some selection of carnival concession machines from Bea Malsky’s basement. We’re gonna bump a playlist we’ve been collectively working on all week. There will be cake.

Sunday, June 24

6:00 pm — 9:00 pm

Project Alternatives To Calling Police During Mental Health Crises is a community-based movement to train folx in de-escalation techniques and protect community members with mental illness from police violence and the criminal justice system. The workshop intends to ask and discuss questions such as: How do marginalized identities intersect during mental health crises and how does this affect treatment by police? What are the ways to support people in mental health crises? How can we take care of ourselves and others? How can we create a community of support?

Ultimately, this is to imagine what a world without police can look like, and a world where widespread over-policing and mass incarceration are replaced with crisis intervention, community response teams, and restorative justice. This event is free, but space is limited. Register here.

Learn more →

Thursday, June 28

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

This Public Newsroom is a chance to join City Bureau’s Documenters program! They’ll be running a “Meetings and Tweeting 2.0” workshop where attendees will practice note taking as well as live-tweeting exercises. Participants are encouraged to bring their preferred method of taking notes: laptop, phone or good old-fashioned paper and pen. We’ll be going through drills of listening to public meetings, writing summaries, testing tweets and snapping some mobile photos. It’s recommended that folks have a Twitter account for this training—come early if you need assistance setting one up! The training will be lead by City Bureau’s Community Engagement Director and Co-Founder Andrea Hart. If you have questions please feel free to contact Andrea at andrea@citybureau.org.

Learn more →

Friday, July 6

5:30 pm — 7:30 pm

Our friends at 57th St. Wines are treating us to a Friday evening wine tasting. Free; BYO cheese and crackers!

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