Did someone say coffee shop?

One of my favorite things about St. Louis is how often I find “hidden gems,” or under the radar, amazing places. Last Thursday I decided that I needed an after-work coffee, and found myself at RISE Coffeehouse in the Grove based on a friend’s recommendation. Little did I know that I was in for an absolute treat.

Now let’s make one thing very clear: I like coffee, and I’m not too shy about it either. Coming from Seattle, coffee is part of my culture and lifestyle. Whether it’s a Frappuccino from Starbucks on a hot summer day, or a warm cup of espresso from a local shop, I can’t say no to a good cup of coffee. And as a result, I’m always on the lookout for exciting new coffee shops that can deepen my addiction to caffeine.

The first thing I noticed when I made it to RISE was how inconspicuous it looked from the outside. Other than some fading words on the window and a spunky street sign, I almost didn’t see it! But the necessity of coffee quickly hit me and I pressed on inside, ready for a nice cool drink.

My iced coffee, set atop of an antique pinball machine re-purposed as a coffee table

The inside was vibrant and cozy, perfect for lounging with an afternoon coffee, so I hurried and ordered an iced coffee (Mind you, it was close to 100 degrees that day). What struck me about the coffee was how smooth it was. Not only was it well-blended, but the bitterness added to the drink instead of detracting like at many other coffee shops. Extremely satisfied, I quietly finished my drink while turning my attention to all the interesting and wacky artwork that surrounded me.

My view from one of RISE's upstairs couches, filled with interesting artwork and nice brick walls

My view from one of RISE’s upstairs couches, filled with interesting artwork and nice brick walls

I saw pictures of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert on the wall surrounded by a collection of interesting and unique decorations. One wall was covered entirely with newspaper clippings. Another had some homemade artwork, all for sale. The environment was extremely comfortable, and I found myself walking around looking at all the art long after I had finished my coffee.

My trip to RISE left me excited for more. I didn’t know what exactly to expect when I was suggested RISE (thanks Anthony!) but everything from the great coffee to the cozy seating areas made the trip worthwhile. RISE was more than just a good cup of coffee – it was an experience, one that will definitely make my list of places to visit again. All I can think about now is all the hidden gems still out there waiting to be discovered.


Check out RISE coffeehouse here | Open until 8pm Monday – Saturday and until 7pm on Sunday