Review: Open Book Cafe

Cafe encapsulates culture of neighborhood


Annie O'Connell

Open Book is located on Washington Avenue

Minneapolis houses an array of coffee shops for one to work, brainstorm, and create in, but rarely offers a venue dedicated entirely to the productivity of creatively thinking. Open Book Literary Center defies this norm by inviting intellectuals with various sets of interests to work on personal development, while experiencing the power of collaboration, all powered by literature.

With alluring proximity to the Mississippi river, Open Book’s Washington Avenue location allows for community-building opportunities and for curiosity to meet exploration.

Stated underneath Open Book’s Core Values is aesthetic.  When creating the space, the founders made it a priority to bring inspiration to workers through the presence of local art.  The use of an area to promote one’s individuality and inspiration begins with the messages art leaves on the walls.

A value also held highly in esteem is the accessibility to the literary experience, beyond reading.   Open Book hosts annual visiting authors to talk about their work and its role in his or her life.  Such promotion of reading, and live opportunities to immerse oneself in literature, introduces a new way of cultivating the mind.

A productive workplace would not complete without an area to refuel. With a cafe on the first floor, the energy stays as high as the positivity.  So, if one chooses, they can plop themselves down for a whole day without the worry of stopping for a lunch break.


A concurrent value of Open Book is collaboration as well as individualism.  Open Book’s emphasis on collaboration extends well past a stated value.  The space also holds various meeting rooms, which are able for rent upon request. The rooms invite large groups to occupy the meeting space for team get togethers or whatever else needs to be accomplished.     

The name given to Open Book surpasses its’ immediate meaning. Yes, one’s open book may lie along the commonalities within the venue, but the openness too applies to the welcoming environment.

With a multitude of offerings, Open Book invites all to fill its’ space, not placing limitations on the tasks meeting completion or the persona completing those tasks.