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Sense of community brews in new coffee shop

Published: Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 4:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 12:00 a.m. CDT
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(Lathan Goumas – lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Off Broadway Coffee owner Kathy Lee (right) talks with Will Gussie (far left) and his son, Peter Gussie, while Lucas Gussie, 2, plays with a stool at Off Broadway Coffee in Richmond. "They're our No. 1 customers," Lee said of the Gussies, adding that they come in almost everyday.
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(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
The counter of Off Broadway Coffee in Richmond. The coffee shop was opened my Kathy Lee in June of this year.
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(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Off Broadway Coffee in Richmond. The coffee shop sells a variety of items, including antiques, in addition to coffee.
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(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Flavored syrups sit next to coffee pots at Off Broadway Coffee in Richmond.

RICHMOND – Come to Off Broadway Coffee for the coffee and ice cream, stay for the community interaction.

And the free Wi-Fi. And to watch your child take dance lessons. And to buy antiques, or any of the wood-carved furniture you’re parked at while you savor your locally roasted joe.

The name of what owner Kathy Lee hopes becomes the village’s main hangout is a clever play on words. Its 10321 Main St. location is just north of Broadway Street, and it shares the building with the recently expanded Broadway Academy of Art and Dance.

A set of stairs leads up to the dance floor, and two flat-screen televisions above the coffee bar are meant for parents to be able to watch their children while they enjoy coffee, baked goods and other pleasantries.

And if customers want to show off their own talent, an open-mike stage at the front gives them the chance on weekends.

“We want to be part of the community – the meeting place for school, homework, church, businesspeople, book clubs, even renting our space,” Lee said.

The storefront used to be Skoopers Ice Cream shop, which closed in June. Off Broadway Coffee opened immediately after, and has been in business for three months.

Off Broadway prides itself on offering goods from local vendors. It serves Conscious Cup coffee from Crystal Lake, and Cedar Crest Ice Cream from Cedarburg, Wis.

Even the wooden furniture for sale is locally sourced – the shop is a showroom for Huntley-based custom vintage furniture maker Illinois Farmhouse.

Dance studio founder Shannon Levitt said it has been her plan for a while to incorporate a coffee shop where parents can wait and have fun into the business.

“It was part of our growth plan, and very much our vision to have this,” Levitt said.

Lee says she finds it exciting as word-of-mouth spreads, especially as people notice the large banner out front advertising coffee. Besides local residents, weekdays mean commuters along Route 31, and weekends mean antiques shoppers and others visiting town.

The shop also offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches for people on the go.

“People are finding us little by little. Every day we get people who didn’t know we’re here, and it’s exciting,” Lee said. “And the people who know us love that there’s a coffee shop in town.”

To learn more about Off Broadway Coffee, visit www.obcoffee.com., like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Off Broadway Coffee

What: A Richmond coffee shop, ice cream store and community gathering place.

Where: 10321 Main St., Richmond

When: Hours are 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesdays. Weekend hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Information: By phone at 815-678-4124, on the web at www.obcoffee.com, or friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/offbrdwycoffee.

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