When Coffee and Art Collide


    Catalyst Coffee Bar Manager Jac Pinto-Brickhouse.

    ST. LOUIS—
    The Art Saint Louis gallery at 1223 Pine Street in downtown St. Louis is now home to Catalyst Coffee Bar, a new specialty coffee operation owned and operated by Art Saint Louis. The 32 year-old nonprofit purchased the coffee operation from Mississippi Mud Coffee Roasters, which had operated in the hybrid art space at the location since its construction in 2013.

    Since acquiring the operation in February 2016, Art Saint Louis has made extensive changes to the vendors, staffing and menu, and recently re-branded the operation through assistance from another nonprofit, ready+willing, which provides pro bono marketing and advertising assistance to other 501(c)3 nonprofits in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

    Changes to the space itself, including the bar layout, equipment and seating, are planned pending the successful completion of a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter.

    Catalyst Coffee Bar is led by Bar Manager Jac Pinto-Brickhouse, a recent St. Louis transplant from Philadelphia. Pinto-Brickhouse trained with coffee roasters Counter Culture Coffee Roasters and Square One Coffee, and served as barista at OCF Coffee in Philadelphia and other specialty coffee shops in the US.

    “We’re presenting a traditional espresso menu,” says Pinto-Brickhouse, “and featuring a collection of outstanding roasters on the national scene, along with the best locally made tea, pastries and kombucha. It’s a combination our customers won’t be able to get anywhere else in St. Louis.”

    Catalyst’s featured roasters include Steadfast Coffee, Nashville, TN; Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco, CA; Passenger Coffee Roasters, Lancaster, PA; Community Beans, St. Louis, MO; Vessel Coffee Roasters, Spokane, WA; ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, Philadelphia, PA; and Parlor Coffee, Brooklyn, NY.

    Incorporated in 1986, the mission of Art Saint Louis is to enrich lives through the work of St. Louis regional visual artists.

    “This is a hospitality-driven project,” says Art Saint Louis Executive Director Chandler Branch. “The idea for this space is that the art and artists who make it so special will become part of everyday life for more people in St. Louis.”

    With its central location downtown and extensive viewing hours, the 2,700-square-foot Art Saint Louis gallery welcomes a diverse audience of over 25,000 annually. Revenue from coffee sales benefits the organization’s nonprofit work. Pinto-Brickhouse explains, “We want to give our customers a great coffee experience and the knowledge that they are supporting a great cause.”

    About Art Saint Louis

    Art Saint Louis has promoted the work of contemporary visual artists in and around St. Louis for over 32 years. Core services include a year-round series of exhibitions in the organization’s gallery in downtown St. Louis as well a variety of public spaces in St. Louis.

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