CROWN POINT | Sitting in the shadow of the Historic Old Lake County Courthouse on Crown Point’s downtown square on a warm morning, Sip Coffee House and Café customers drink their steaming hot coffee in ceramic mugs.
They read the morning news, visiting with friends or people watching while enjoying a freshly-prepared breakfast.
Local businessman and Sip regular Tim Fealy doesn’t drink coffee.
“But then it's more than just a coffee house,” Fealy said. “They serve a wonderful breakfast and it's a fun place to meet someone for lunch. It's a great place to meet a business client because you know they have something on the menu to appeal to everyone.”
Fealy, an Indiana University alumnus, said Sip has a college town coffee house atmosphere.
The independently-owned Sip Coffee House and Café has increasingly become a popular hangout for local business people and clubs including those interested in photography, paranormal activity and books, owner Rhonda Bloch said. It seats up to 50 indoors and is available for private parties.
Sip’s popular outdoor seating is usually filled during early morning and lunch hours, Bloch said.
The breakfast menu includes omelets, oatmeal, bagel and croissant sandwiches, wraps and quiche. There is a full luncheon menu with grilled sandwiches, gourmet salads and five daily soup choices.
Along with free Wi-Fi, Sip offers delivery service and has a deli section which includes chicken, tuna, egg, four vegetable and pasta salads to go - European style, Bloch said.
Offering a large variety of organic Metropolis coffees, 42 different teas and signature lattes, smoothies and frappes, the current favorite is big bubble tea which is made with tapioca bubble pearls that have a gummy like taste.
Fealy said Bloch goes above and beyond in meeting her customer’s needs.
“My friend Sarah is a strict vegan,” Fealy said. “When I told Rhonda about Sarah's diet, Rhonda researched what a vegan can and cannot eat and made a specially-prepared breakfast just for Sarah that morning. Where else could you go that the owner would care so much about their customer?”
Friday night at Sip is open mike night for music, comedy and poetry from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sip opens at 7 a.m. daily, closing at 6 p.m. during the week and at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sip is adjacent to the Victorian-style Tiffany’s Tea Room which Bloch opened 15 years ago.
“My goal personally is to make it an all-coffee house,” Bloch said. “It has become so popular. A coffee house is a hot urban style.”
“Come in and give it a try and you will be back for sure,” Bloch said. “Once you are here you are just wowed.”