The Coffee Grounds opens a new microbrewery

The Coffee Grounds boasts many features and will soon add more to their selection of goods with a new microbrewery

Students at UW-Eau Claire often enjoy a cup of coffee from Racy’s, a snack from Just Local Foods or local beers from the Lazy Monk Brewery, but The Coffee Grounds on Southtowne Drive feels like a combination of all three.

Owner Eric Nelson started The Coffee Grounds 25 years ago with his family. After moving to the current location of the store it has evolved into a hub for items that would be hard to find anywhere else in Eau Claire.

“It’s things that some of us have found other places and things that we’ve enjoyed,” Nelson said. “A lot of us love to travel either through the United States or around the world and when you experience something fun we try and bring those great things back to Eau Claire.”

Nelson said their store sells a unique combination of food, drinks, ingredients, wine and beer.

The Coffee Grounds boasts a cigar room and a patio with seating for nice weathered days.

“You can sit outside on the patio on a sunny day or sit and watch the sun go down,” Nelson said, “have a glass of wine or espresso in the afternoon and relax and enjoy life.”

In addition to these features, a microbrewery, K Point Brewing, will soon be opening.

The doors leading to the brewery and the walls are made of wood repurposed from demolished barns in the area giving it a rustic feel. Anyone at the bar can watch the beer being made. Nelson said he has hired brewers to create their own exclusive brews.

Beers in the tap room will consist of beers made on site at K Point, guest draft beer and cellared special edition bottles. The space can be rented for private parties.

Sophomore Abigail Kriese, an undeclared student, is a regular at The Coffee Grounds.

“I really love the variety of the products and when you walk in it always smells really wonderful,” Kriese said. “It’s nice that you can shop for craft beer or artisan wines here and really cute kitchen utensils while drinking quality coffee.”

She wouldn’t necessarily make the drive for just the coffee, but the other merchandise and family atmosphere make it worth it, Kriese said, whose favorite menu item is an iced chai.

“The colorful walls are fun, a lot of different kinds of people from all walks of life are here,” Kriese said. “It’s just a very welcoming atmosphere.”

Besides the warm atmosphere and aesthetically pleasing environment, Kriese said The Coffee Grounds is also a nice place to shop, whether for yourself, a friend or a family member.

“For my dad’s birthday I got him a honey cigar and it was the perfect gift, so it’s a good place to shop for parents,” Kriese said.

Nelson, who’s lived in Eau Claire for almost 30 years, said students should make the drive to The Coffee Grounds because it is a local, family owned business going into its second generation.

“I’m a big believer of people who live in the community,” Nelson said. “…You’re not going to meet the CEO of Starbucks or Caribou.”