Since its opening in 2009, Augie’s Coffee House in downtown Redlands has become a central meeting place for students and community members. Located just off of State Street on Fifth Street, the establishment caters to everyone from creatives who set up shop to work on their computers to passersby with strollers in tow. It’s also where a handful of University of Redlands students choose to study, offering a change of scenery and a home base off campus.
“I was a junior in high school when I went to Augie’s for the first time,” says Noah Sylvester ’18, a theatre business and psychology major from Calabasas, Calif. “I was visiting the University of Redlands for the first time and I wanted to check out a few of the coffee shops to see what ‘home’ would feel like here.”
As far as coffee offerings go, Augie’s proffers a variety of beverages made by baristas who serve up recommendations depending on the season. During the summer, customers are encouraged to try the espresso tonic—a concoction of soda water with a shot of espresso floating on top. During the cooler months, baristas suggest a hot honey cinnamon latte. Iced caramel lattes are enjoyed all year round, thanks to the sweet caramel sauce sourced from Parliament Chocolate, a neighboring artisanal chocolatier.
With a small roster of passionate employees, it’s easy for customers and baristas to get to know each other. Sylvester says that the baristas are one reason why he keeps coming back. “They make the shop feel like home; it’s such an inviting place,” he says.
Augie’s serves as a hub for culture and the arts by hosting monthly art shows and participating in the downtown art walk, a festival that happens twice a year. On Monday nights, Augie’s hosts a group of jazz musicians, and patrons stop in on their way to or from Market Night, the large farmer’s market in downtown Redlands, on Thursdays. A smaller farmers’ market establishes itself in the parking lot across the street on Saturday mornings, supplemented by a book sale in the neighboring alley once a month.
“I usually go in the morning before class to grab a coffee to go, but I like spending time there studying or talking with friends,” says Sylvester. “It’s a great place to read, and it’s fun when they have musicians playing in the back room or the alley.”