Metro-East Living

Brickstreet Brew is a work of art

Brickstreet Brew Coffee House In Lebanon

The coffee house offers a wide variety of coffees, teas and house-baked pastries at 220 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon. An art gallery adjoins the coffee house.
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The coffee house offers a wide variety of coffees, teas and house-baked pastries at 220 West St. Louis Street in Lebanon. An art gallery adjoins the coffee house.

Not only are there coffee, tea and sweets to enjoy at Brickstreet Brew in downtown Lebanon, but artwork as well.

You’re welcome to buy what is on the wall and shelves, from paintings to decorated tea cups created by local artists.

But the tables are off limits.

“Everybody who comes in here wants to buy the tables,” said owner Kathy Wakefield. It’s perfectly understandable.

Head barista Maureena Smith will whip up her seasonal Butterbeer Latte ($4) for you, and then you get to put it down on top of a Degas, Renoir or Monet.

Tables throughout the shop and the adjoining art gallery are decorated with faux classics and original work done by area artists. They are covered with a marine varnish so your scone and tea don’t mar the surface.

“The reproductions are done by Jillian Harrel (of O’Fallon),” said Kathy, who opened the coffeehouse Aug. 10. It’s connected to her Brickstreet Arts Gallery and Studio. There’s a large “Manet” by Jillian over the door to the kitchen as well.

Where once a doorway existed between the two rooms, she painted a bookshelf full of tomes, including an owl and a tiny mouse.

“Henryk Ptasiewicz is an artist from St. Louis and he did his own work on most of the other tables,” she said. “And artist David Cornell — he lives here in Lebanon — did two of the tables.”

Kathy’s favorite painting genre is obvious: “I love Impressionism.”

Regular customer Amy MacLennan enjoys the coffee and the atmosphere.

First of all, it’s the most beautiful coffee shop I’ve ever been in, and I’ve frequented many. Plus, the coffee is great.

Amy MacLennan on patronizing Brickstreet Brew

“First of all, it’s the most beautiful coffee shop I’ve ever been in, and I’ve frequented many,” said Amy, an art professor at McKendree University in town. “Plus, the coffee is great.”

Kathy opened Brickstreet Arts in 2014. “We really wanted to do this from the beginning, but there was no room,” she said of adding a coffee shop. “And we didn’t want to move. We love this location.”

Then next-door neighbor Fezziwig’s Market Place moved out and “we took advantage of the situation” and leased the space, opening a wall so customers could also enjoy the gallery and reach the outdoor courtyard.

Kathy has a large studio behind the courtyard where she holds painting and pottery-decorating classes. She came to the metro-east in 2004 with her Air Force husband, who retired here but still works at the base. He gets credit for building several of the cabinets and bookcases and doing the trim work when they renovated the spaces.

Kathy’s right-hand woman in both businesses is Stephanie McPeek, who also is an artist and teaches classes at the gallery. The pair worked on the decor of the coffee shop, which has white beadboard wainscoting and pale blue-gray walls. The old black-and-white pattern linoleum floor was brought back to life and vintage light fixtures hang overhead.

Baked desserts made by Rachel Pehle, of Lebanon, include cookies, scones, biscotti, muffins and cake, with prices from 50 cents to $3.75. Kaldi coffee drinks range from $1.35 for an 8-ounce cup of regular brew to $3.75 for a 16-ounce cappuccino, latte or steamer. Loose-leaf tea is used to brew you a cup for $1.35.

They plan to start serving lunch in January, Kathy said. Plans also include barista and musician Eric Drake lining up music — blues and jazz — once a month.

For Witch’s Night Out on Oct. 25, artist Henryk Ptasiewicz will do pen-and-ink sketches of customers at Brickhouse Brew for $10.

Brickstreet Brew

  • What: Serves coffee, tea, hot chocolate and dessert, with artwork for sale. Free wi-fi.
  • When: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, to 7 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.
  • Where: 220 W. St. Louis St., downtown Lebanon
  • Information: 618-537-4492 and on Facebook at Brickstreet Brew
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