The Roasterie Café commits itself to supporting small, specialty-coffee-bean farmers around the world and employing a convection air-roasting method to help ensure smoothness and consistency. Customers can take bags of dry beans, such as Super Tuscan Espresso ($12.65 per 12 oz. bag), home for private brewing, or they can perk up with signature drinks that include Brooksider Bob, a mélange of mint, chocolate, and espresso ($3.85 for 12 oz.). Fruit smoothies such as Mandarin Passion ($4.15 for 16 oz.) inspire slurpers to throw regular-sized oranges in a dryer, and coolers such as Thrilla Vanilla ($4.50 for 16 oz.) calm urges for chilled caffeine. The coffee mecca rounds out its extensive menu with bagels and pastries, as well as more than 20 different flavors of loose-leaf and sachet teas.
Ceramic Cafe arms artists of all ages with the artistic instruments necessary to transform unfinished earthenware into pottery masterpieces. Guests can adorn two 12-ounce mugs, two 8-inch round plates, or one mug and one plate in more than 60 different colors of nontoxic ceramic glazes that will not flake off and add unwanted seasoning to swordfish-casserole dishes. Idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps supply sources of artistic inspiration, and staff members stand by to demonstrate techniques, or to pose for a mug-side replica of Whistler's Mother. The studio fires pieces in its kiln to ensure designs are food safe and long lasting, and customers can retrieve their work the following week.
Fueled by a belief that anybody can paint, co-owners Jenny and John Ball opened Thirsty Palette painting studio to prove that experience level doesn’t matter when it comes to tapping into your inner artist. During sip and paint classes, guest artists guide students of all backgrounds through easy step-by-step instructions, teaching them how to use all the provided art supplies to easily recreate that session’s chosen image. Past paintings have included cherry blossom trees, team mascots, and peacock feathers. Throughout the class, Jenny and John encourage students to loosen up with a cocktail, wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage from the studio’s fully stocked bar.
For private parties, the Bells tailor their painting session to the event or the host’s likes. For example, they may lead kids through a Scooby Do painting at a child’s birthday party. For an extra fee, Thirsty Palate staffers can also bring all the essentials for a memorable party, including food, decorations, and high-powered jet packs.
There is plenty to see, hear, and smell inside Ceramics & Coffee House @ Paint, Glaze & Fire. Here you’ll see rows of clay-colored mugs, vases, plates, pictures frames, and figurines next to bits of colored glass for fusion projects. Overhead a mosaic of tiles painted by customers creates a colorful ceiling, and up front an espresso bar grinds PT's coffee beans and steams milk for lattes.
Debbie, a Paint, Glaze & Fire co-owner, especially likes seeing dads painting pottery with their kids. Debbie says that while a father and his children might not talk too much while painting, they're still communicating and sharing a lot more than if they were silently sitting in a movie theatre. Plus, after painting, glass fusing, or canvas painting this family will have a something to show for it.
While fun for the whole family, Ceramics & Coffee House @ Paint, Glaze & Fire focuses on cultivating the creativity and curiosity of children. Kids' parties and summer camps actively engage youngsters, as do the bimonthly Paint Me a Story sessions, where a favorite children's book is paired with a pottery painting activity. With space to house 30 to 40 adult-size imaginations, the studio can also host corporate team-building events, girls' nights out, and other celebrations.
According to an old Dutch proverb, "Coffee has two virtues: it is wet and warm. Stop giggling." For $8, today's Groupon lets you enjoy the dark elixir's many virtues with four coffee drinks at Dunn Bros Coffee (an up to $18 value). Bring your Groupon to either the Loring Park or Lyndale Avenue locations and you'll receive a four-beverage punch card that you can use to stay alert until baseball season.