Coffee on the ‘Rise’


What do a disco ball, vintage bicycle and a couch all have in common? They all hang from the ceiling at Rise Coffee on Manchester Avenue, less than two miles from campus. This is not the sort of coffee house that snobby, young adults with overpriced laptops camp out in and pretend to work while actually just trolling social media. Rise Coffee House is how coffee houses were meant to be, places of community where ideas are shared and change is made.

There is nothing corporate about the place. Each piece of furniture is as unique as whatever will likely be attached to the ceiling next. The place looks like a collection of whatever was leftover at grandma’s place once all the jewelry and photos were taken. Also, if it appears as though all the baristas interact like roommates, it is because most of them are.

Do not get the wrong idea. Rise Coffee is not just some sort of Willy Wonka fun house. There is great coffee and food. Coffee enthusiasts are just as likely to be wowed by the artistic precision of the cream topping on their pumpkin latte as they are by the eclectic style of the place. The coffee is local and high end. The service is speedy, but what is most enjoyable about the place is the community.

While two teachers seemingly happened upon each other and began sharing notes, an apparent interview was underway at the next table. A customer and barista went back and forth trying to pin down the best Bottomless Bloody Mary bar in the area, deciding that Mangia Italiano was the verdict. Be on the lookout for that review soon.

Rise Coffee House is just two years old, but has already fulfilled the purpose that Jessie Mueller, a SLU social work graduate, founded it for while serving as a member of the Grove Community Development Board. The mission is to be a welcoming place, accessible to all.

If you cannot wait for fall break to take a breather from your roommate, make a walk to Rise Coffee. If money is tight, just grab one of the coffee sleeves on the wall in front of the cash register. As part of a “pay it forward” system, some generous soul has pre-paid for your next jolt of caffeine.

Better yet, invite your roommate with you, and talk things out on the 30-minute walk there. You would not just be enjoying a great cup of coffee, you would be helping Rise Coffee fulfill its mission of community.

If your interests are broader than your current living situation, stop by Rise on the last Wednesday of each month, at 7 p.m. That is when a group dedicated to racial reconciliation, called “Heal the Divide,” meets. Arts and crafts workshops also take place at the coffee house, on the second floor.

Food options are only set to get sweeter as Rise expands to the property next door and adds a kitchen. As the first business on the block, Rise already attracts a diverse group of coffee lovers, as parents with toddlers and professionals in suits descend upon the places for either a restful retreat from the busy day or a quick pit stop for a drink.

If the walk is just enough to keep you from visiting, then follow Rise Coffee on Twitter, so you can find the next location of its food truck, which deploys four times a week and gives the chance to drink its coffee.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email