The Fringe Coffee House brings local street art, music therapy, and hope to their local community.
From the outside looking in, The Fringe Coffee House looks like cool local coffee shop in Hamilton... but as soon as you take a step inside, you realize it is so much more. Every door, wall and floorboard is adorned with art, and the vibrant colors are the perfect match for the lively atmosphere. This coffeeshop offers more than great lattes and a street-art gallery; The Fringe also serves as a holistic re-entry program for citizens recently released from prison, and a safe space for anyone in the community.
Meet Sarah & Patrick
Owners Sarah and Patrick Davis spent two years opening the shop, with the mission to invest in the people that no one else will invest in. The Fringe encourages those on the fringes of society to live healthy and whole lives and the coffee shop provides gainful employment to recently released citizens.
Both Sarah and Patrick each have their own personal story that keep this mission close to their heart. The couple both spent time being incarcerated before they met, and have made it their mission to help others find purpose through tragic events and take personal responsibility. "The healthiest thing you can do is look in the mirror," Patrick says.
If you come in the shop from the back, you'll enter a dark hallway with pops of colorful art lining the walls. On the right, you'll notice a vibrant portrait of a man with bright blue eyes wearing a Cleveland Indians hoodie.
The mural is of Patrick's brother Larry Davis, who was murdered while Patrick was awaiting trial in juvenile detention center. Larry was only 20 years old and on his way to playing professional baseball when his life was suddenly cut short. Patrick had always looked up to his brother growing up, and to this day Larry is one of his greatest inspirations.
This devastating event in Patrick's life eventually led him to a road full of faith and compassion. He has spent much of his adult life as an activist, musician, poet, hip-hop artist, and speaker who has toured extensively around the world.
When you visit the shop you'll discover a ton of art related to music and dedicated to famous musicians, including an entire wall of album covers. Both Patrick and Sarah prioritize writing, music, and art as forms of therapy.
The Fringe Coffee House also hosts weekly music events, such as live music nights with local musicians, live DJ nights, and even Open Mic shows every Friday from 6-8PM.
The coffee shop is two-levels, with seating and street-art available on each floor. Painted on a large wall of the second floor is a mural reading, You Are More Than The Worst Thing You've Ever Done, which is a constant reminder of their mission.
This is also done through a wide-range of other services offered at The Fringe like mental health support, recovery and addiction meetings, G.E.D. tutoring, free tattoo removal, mentorship, and much more. Although the shop only employs people in the re-entry program, Patrick says their customers and community come from all walks of life.
"That's the thing about art... any person can see something they identify with. We see every kind of person come in here and make connections, and it's really beautiful," he says.
The plan is to completely cover every surface inside of The Fringe with street-art. So far, the coffee shop has worked with over 22 local artists and hopes to eventually cover the exterior of the building as well.
There is no limit to the art shown or produced at The Fringe. You will see everything from abstract art, murals small and large, inspiring messages and quotes, and portraits of famous musicians, activists and celebrities.
A Latte More
As residents of Hamilton, Sarah and Patrick said they wanted to bring a fresh and healthy menu to their community. The Fringe is open from early in the morning until the evening, so they offer a variety of drinks, breakfast items, and lunch options.
Photo Credit : The Fringe Coffee House
The Fringe gets all of their coffee from a local roastery in Cincinnati, Yield Coffee Roasters. This was an important collaboration for Sarah and Patrick, as Yield Coffee is intentional about ethically sourcing their coffee blends and 100% of their profits are donated to sustainable projects that impact the lives of vulnerable people around the world.
With their big coffee menu, Patrick says the lattes are by far the most popular item. Their best seller is the Carmel latte, with the vanilla latte coming in a close second. There is also a selection of seasonal latte flavors like pumpkin, peppermint, lavender, and rose.
Photo Credit : The Fringe Coffee House
If you're not a coffee person, The Fringe has a list of teas and delicious smoothies available to order. As for food, customers have fresh options for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack. Favorites include the yogurt parfait, Belgium waffle, mixed green salad, and the fresh bagel sandwiches.
One of the greatest things about The Fringe and their mission, is the ability to spread empathy, compassion and share perspectives. This was the idea behind The Fringe Podcast. It is recorded live on site at The Fringe Coffee House and discusses stories worth sharing and conversations worth having.
"We wanted to help share different ideas and tell all kinds of stories; funny, deep, or even spiritual. We want to help tell the stories that would be a crime not to tell," Patrick says.
Although there are many avenues of The Fringe, the heart and mission are grounded in the same idea. Patrick says the passion is best told in the words of "G-Dog" — to widen the circle of compassion so much that there is no one standing outside of it.
918 High Street | Hamilton, OH 45011
Open Monday through Thursday 6AM - 8PM, Friday and Saturday 6AM - 9PM