Local community art center, coffee, tea and bakeshop “Common Grounds” will be moving to its new location Tuesday. Common Grounds is staying close to home, just two doors down at 123 E. Lincoln Highway.
“I released with the lease ending in April that I needed to make a decision,” Owner Jeff Foster said. “Do we want to stay here and try and make things work? Or is it time to expand? The people who love Common Grounds want more space.”
The independent and minority owned shop has been serving up coffee and baked goods as a common interest to drive community outreach, since opening its doors in 2016. This outreach is the main reason for its moving, Foster said. The shop shop looks to capitalize on a bigger space to grow community focused programs.
“I’ve had my eye on this building since before we settled here,” Foster said. “The space would be better conducive to doing more creative things. I really wanted a way to do youth activities, with the idea being a community art center.”
The new location includes a larger kitchen space, two dining areas and a larger library space, Foster said. He added that, if possible, he would like to occupy the second and third floors to use as a full gallery area and studio space for people to drop in and do anything from painting and poetry to performance art.
“I think more space for Common Grounds is great. It’s right on this strip and it just feels like college,” John Gallione, NIU alumni and frequent Common Grounds customer said. “Everything about it is great. It’s good coffee made by friendly people with an idealistic mission behind it. “
Common Grounds, whose mission is to be a “place where anyone can get inspired,” according to the shop’s website, is certainly living up to those ideals. The coffee shop and bakery definitely has big things on the horizon with its move to the new location.