Nothing wakes a meeting up quite like a steady supply of coffee. More and more cafés around the metro are making it easier to combine business with drinkable pleasure by offering meeting spaces. These five venues not only accommodate your co-workers, they also offer Wi-Fi, full beverage menus and reasonable rental fees. Pick a location, add pastries, and soon the ideas will be flowing like fair trade java.
J. Arthur’s Coffee
Roseville-based J. Arthur’s Coffee was originally conceived in 2008 as a gathering and meeting place for the residents and staff of ACR Homes, an organization that provides residential support services for people with physical and mental disabilities. “[The coffee shop] was both a place for a social environment and a place for staff to hold meetings,” says Noelle Hill, co-manager. Since J. Arthur’s opened to the public in 2011, the café has been renting out its two private rooms and is currently constructing a third. The spaces—which are designed to meet business needs with multiple seating options and projectors—are regularly booked for conferences, lectures and birthday parties. “[The space] has been a really neat tool to bring a variety of people to the shop,” Hill says.
Quixotic Coffee is one the hippest locales on the Twin Cities café circuit. Before owner Matt Johnson opened it in 2010, he knew he wanted a private room in the café just for meetings. “I had seen [a meeting space] at another café years ago and thought it was a good asset,” he says. “With the way business is migrating, it seems like more people are working remotely.” Tucked in the Highland neighborhood of St. Paul, regulars rave about the knowledgeable staff that will help you select the best brew for your palate.
When whole bean and ground coffee company Peace Coffee opened its own quirky shop (dubbed Wonderland Park) in the Longfellow neighborhood in 2010, a Brew Lab was already part of the plan, although its use has changed. “Originally, we thought it would be a teaching space,” says Miré Regulus, director of retail. “We do have some teaching, but not as much as we originally intended, so it’s been serendipitous that it works this way.” The Brew Lab, featuring tables and a whiteboard, frequently accommodates lawyers, nonprofits and reading groups in two-hour blocks.
With three locations throughout Minneapolis, Spyhouse Coffee is a Twin Cities mainstay for java junkies. The Hennepin Avenue location, open since 2008, features the Breakroom, a 200-square-foot space original to the 1907 brownstone, where the café is housed. “All the windows were boarded up,” owner Christian Johnson says of the rehab process. “We had to strip off all the plaster and sheetrock. It was not only bringing the 100-year-old building back to life, but making it a community event room.” Now decked out with booths and beautifully restored to its original exposed brick walls, the Breakroom regularly houses private business meetings.
Blue Ox Coffee Company
Blue Ox Coffee Company, situated on 38th Street and Chicago in the Powderhorn neighborhood, doesn’t just offer a room for rent—it offers the entire storefront. Because the café doesn’t get the late afternoon and evening foot traffic that more centrally located venues might, owner Melanie Logan closes the doors to the public at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. on Thursdays in the summer), but often has groups meet in the space after hours. Blue Ox has hosted everything from surprise parties to neighborhood organizations in its quaint, minimally decorated space which opened in 2011. “We have opened up the opportunity for people to have a space in the neighborhood that’s bigger than in their own home,” Logan says.
PEACE COFFEE BREW LAB
Cost: $25 minimum café purchase for two hours
F&B: Full beverage menu; catering available with advance notice
Accommodates: 15 to 20 (minimum of four guests)
Cost: One $10 gift card per hour for up to four hours
F&B: Full beverage menu; sandwiches and pastries on a first-come, first-serve basis
Accommodates: Up to 12
SPYHOUSE COFFEE: HENNEPIN
Cost: $45 per hour
F&B: Full beverage menu; baked goods on a first-come, first-serve basis; no outside
food or beverage allowed
Accommodates: 18-20 people in the boardroom
BLUE OX COFFEE COMPANY
Cost: $35-50 for three hours if Blue Ox provides beverages; $100 for three hours if food/drink is brought in from outside vendor
F&B: Full drink menu; outside food can be brought in or catering can be arranged
Accommodates: Up to 55
J. ARTHUR’S COFFEE
Cost: $25 (small room, 30-40 people), $50 (large room, approximately 50 people), and
$75 (new room, up to 80 people) for every two hours; purchases made in the café go towards those fees
F&B: Full beverage menu; catering available upon request
Accommodates: 30 to 80 people
Reservations: In person or 651.294.4782