Killer combo

Monica Grashuis


Coffee and wine are both such essential ingredients for a happy life, it’s surprising that more places haven’t brought them together under one roof. Both beverages are available at Swill Coffee and Wine, a combination coffee shop and wine bar at 3366 Lakeside Drive, though you probably won’t want to enjoy both drinks at the same time, unless you want to get really wacky. Monica Grashuis is the owner of the joint, which will feature art exhibitions and occasional music performances and other events. For more information, search Swill on Facebook or call 823-9876.

Why coffee and wine?

I just think coffee and wine is a good combination. You’ve got to sell a lot of cups of coffee to make it work, and so we felt like it makes sense, especially in the neighborhood, just to offer a space where you can swing by and have a glass of wine or a quick bite to eat after work. The bigger picture is that we have a very large meeting room we call the lounge that’s beautifully decorated with local artwork from both university students and local artists. We don’t take a percentage of that commission. Any art that is sold in here, 100 percent goes right back to the artists. … My friend Mark Trujillo, who owns The Hub on Cheney Street, started roasting, so all of our beans are from him, and we have craft beers by the bottle and small wines.

And you’re doing food?

Yes. We work with local caterers, small vendors. Baked goods, sandwiches, soups, things like that.

Is the meeting room something people can rent out?

It’s available for free. We have two business groups that meet in here on Wednesdays, one at 7, and then another one at 11:30. So our goal is to have this space utilized frequently throughout the day, and then available in the evenings. We have non-profit Sundays, so non-profits can utilize the space on Sunday afternoons. We’re going to have an indoor farmers’ market and artists’ market on Sundays, with champagne and brunch. Next Thursday, Dec. 22, we’re doing Purge and Splurge—we’re partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. They’re right around the corner from us, and they’re awesome so we’re partnering with them on a lot of different angles. So we’re a donation center right now for clothing. We’re doing a clothing drive, so we’re encouraging folks to purge the clothing and things they don’t need anymore, bring them in here and splurge on maybe a last-minute very cool piece of for someone they care about for Christmas, or just have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and check our space out.

Can you tell me a little more about the art that’s up now?

We’ve got some really cool art. We have jewelry, acrylic art, whimsical stuff. We have these really creepy sculptures. We call them the creepy guys. We’ve got some really cool pottery. … Some photography, some pen and ink.

So, really diverse.

Yeah, and we have an art show on the 29th of December [of works by Michael Heltebrake]. He does really cool stuff. He does like 3 feet by 9 feet acrylics on doors and stuff. We’ll have a DJ [DJ Bin Tin] here for that.