Grace Place Coffee – 250 E. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Open 7am to 1pm weekdays, 7am to noon on weekends.

This is a little one room coffee shop/cafe/bakery in the front of the church office building next to the Grace Lutheran Church on Juneau Ave., a couple blocks east of Water Street on Milwaukee's East Side. It's a location that I can walk to in a few minutes, so I've stopped by for a cup of coffee many times. I admit that I've never attended the church, but maybe I will some day, it's a beautiful old church. I visited their annual rummage sale once, in another part of the building with the coffee shop. I'm always kind of intrigued with these buildings that are part of a church compound that may contain offices and classrooms and sometime residences for clergy and even visitors and staff. I've wondered what it might be like to work for a church and live there—sometimes these are great old structures connected to the church, or next door. In this case it's a bit more of a modern building, quite big and probably not notable, except for the cafe in front. It's a great idea, and more churches should put in daily coffee shops. People working in the church offices can have breakfast or lunch there (they have soup and sandwiches), and coffee, of course, and it's a way for the public to integrate, regardless of your faith. I've found this place to be a nice place to sit and write in my notebook. The coffee is inexpensive, good, and in their ceramic cups. There's always a few people sitting there, visiting, or laptopping. It wouldn't be a bad place to meet with someone, actually, but it's certainly ideal for going by yourself. The only drawback is that they shut down mind-numbingly early—around noon, or just after—so it's really only a morning cafe.

Randy Russell 11.27.18