It turns out, Merrillville went less than a year without a Starbucks.
The popular Starbucks coffee shop at the Radisson at Star Plaza, a pit stop for many travelers on Interstate 65 or who hit the road after a conference let out at the hotel, was shuttered in December 2016. That left Merrillville briefly without a Starbucks, though there are three around the Southlake Mall a short drive away in neighboring Hobart.
But the Seattle-based chain, known for its sugary Frappuccinos and other strong espresso-based drinks, has returned to Merrillville with a new standalone coffee shop with a drive-through outside the Meijer superstore at U.S. 30.
The new coffee shop at 725 W 81st Ave. offers a wide array of coffee drinks, fruit "Refreshers" and Teavana teas for anyone who might be upset about the recent closing of the Teavana store in the nearby Southlake Mall. It also has oven-warmed food, LaBoulange baked goods, Wi-Fi and mobile ordering.
The Merrillville Starbucks is less than 2 miles from the Starbucks on Mississppi Street outside the Southlake Mall in Hobart and the Starbucks on U.S. 30 just north of the mall. Starbucks has a fourth location nearby in the Target store east of the Southlake Mall.
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They face competition from a new Dunkin' Donuts that opened earlier this year a little farther east on U.S. 30 at 3412 E. Lincoln Highway in Hobart.
The Merrillville Starbucks is open from 4:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
For more information, call at 219-384-4331
Birky’s Bakery & Coffee Shop
Location: 205 S Main St., in Kouts. Hours: Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, Saturday 6 a.m. to noon. Website: www.birkyfarms.com
“We try to resource either homemade or local types of things, and the coffee that we sell there is locally sourced," said Chris Birky, owner of Birky’s Bakery & Coffee Shop, "We have all kinds of custom roasted coffees.”
Location: 114 E Lincolnway, in Valparaiso. Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
“We care very much about pleasing them [customers] and we care about them as people” said Mary Koselke, co-owner
Location: 1 N Court St., Crown Point Phone: 219-663-1100
Café Fresco carries Chicago roaster Intelligentsia Coffee, which is a staple in specialty coffee. Situated on the corner of the 231 exit off of the Crown Point square, Café Fresco is a great place to sit down with a friend and enjoy a pour over coffee or espresso drink. In addition to drinks, they serve food from their kitchen until early afternoon, making Fresco a perfect breakfast or lunch destination. With a history of donations to local charities and hosting numerous community events, Café Fresco has also distinguished itself as the coffee shop with a conscience.
Location: 350 W. Lincoln Hwy, in Schererville. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We use air-roasted coffee, which is a whole different process from traditionally roasted coffee. Traditional coffee people will complain about it because sometimes it will taste bitter or burnt but the air-roasted beans have been proven to taste better,” said Jeff Conti, owner. “We’re also drive-through exclusive so we’re there for commuters since many people in the area want quick service.”
Comfort Roast Coffee House & Cafe
Location: 1423 119th. St., in Whiting Hours: Mon - Fri: 6am - 9pm, Sat: 7am - 9pm, Sun: 7am-9pm
The store's kitchen is not yet open, but will offer homemade soups and a variety of sandwiches.
Dagger Mountain Roastery
Location: 3205 Cascade Dr, Ste F, Valparaiso Phone: 219-286-6287 daggermountain.com
Owned by a trio all local to Valparaiso, Dagger Mountain is a coffee roaster and tasting room where patrons can try out selections of seasonal coffees. Now roasting on a brand new Probat roaster, they brew coffees that are served as pour over on a Hario V60 and Kalita Wave; espresso and milk drinks like cappuccinos, cortados and lattes, as well as the customer favorite Miel; and even coffee on a siphon brewer. If you’re looking to be entranced by the hand-painted bee pattern walls and to have a conversation with the staff on anything coffee, this is the place to go for an afternoon.
Pictured: Rebekah and Parker Douglas of Merrillville
Fluid Coffee Bar
Location: 159 W Lincolnway, Valparaiso Phone: 219.510.1000 Online: fluidcoffeebar.com
Started by a couple local to Valparaiso, Fluid Coffee Bar has been a bright coffee spot on Lincolnway for almost a year. With coffees from Intelligentsia and local roasters Needmore and Rubicon, customers can sit down at the long bar and talk to a barista about coffee, art shows or the latest episode of
Game of Thrones. Situated near the Valparaiso University campus, this is a great place for students to plug in for a day and refuel on coffee or the well constructed food menu, with items like yogurt bowls or sandwiches.
Location: 146 N Broad St., Griffith Phone: 219-595-5678
Grindhouse Cafe is undoubtedly a favorite of coffee drinkers not only in Griffith, but of anyone in the Region who loves specialty coffee. An excellent example of a multi-roaster shop, Grindhouse brings in the A-team with coffee from Metropolis, Dark Matter, Dagger Mountain, Counter Culture, and many others. Hand in hand with their great coffee is their impressive food menu, filled with salads, sandwiches and breakfast items that you can enjoy in house or on Grindhouse’s mobile food truck, which you might have helped fund on Kickstarter. If you’re looking for a place to study and have a pour over or house latte, this is the place.
Location: 1600 119th St., in Whiting. Hours: Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Offers coffee, frappes, smoothies and a light food menu, including sandwiches and salads.
Lakeshore Coffee & Specialties
Location: 444 Wabash St., in Michigan City. Hours: 6:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
“Lakeshore Coffee provides the highest quality products from around the world and delivers them with exceptional service for the last 20 years and beyond” said Mike Owen co-owner.
Location: 230 W Lincoln Hwy, in Schererville. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We use an old-fashioned espresso machine, which makes us unique to the area. It’s also a really comfortable and great environment where you feel like you’re at home,” said Angel Hernandez, owner
Location: 310 Main St., Hobart Phone: 219-940-3174
Recently opened by a couple in Hobart, the Librarium is a splendid fixture in the downtown area that gives customers a coffee and board games experience. With classic board games like Settlers of Catan and coffees from Dagger Mountain and Chicago roaster Dark Matter—which they serve as espresso and milk drinks as well as filter coffee—they’re setting the table for great coffee that’s accessible and makes return customers.
Red Cup Cafe & Deli
Location: 115 Broadway, in Chesterton. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Their mission statement is “Feeding your body nurturing your soul” said Laura Verheaghe, owner.
Rocky Mountain Cafe
Location: 209 Lincolnway, in LaPorte. Hours: Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m to 3 p.m., and Sunday 7 a.m. to noon.
“We have a wide variety of different types of coffee and we have daily special,” said Rosanne and Randy Pressel, owners. “We have a friendly staff and a comfortable atmosphere with a very hometown feel to it.”
Sip Coffee House
Sip Coffee House has two locations: 11 N Court St., in Crown Point and 2815 Jewett Ave., in Highland. Hours: Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“People really seem to like it here and we have a great atmosphere. We have a friendly staff and it’s an overall great experience for the customers,” said Josh Lyerla, employee.
South Bend Chocolate Company
Location: 7 Franklin St., in Valparaiso. Hours: Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"We have over 20 different flavors of coffees and we roast our coffee beans at our factory in South Bend and they are freshly ground for customers," said Carolyn Moore, employee. "For our coffee drinks, like mochas, we make those with our gourmet liquid chocolate."
Location: 924 S Court Street, Crown Point Hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays Online: steamwhistlecoffee.com
Steamwhistle's 14-year passion of fresh roasted coffee and partnering to support fair trade farmers bring a new level of taste to your cup. Conveniently located by Lake County Fairgrounds, St. Anthony's Hospital and Crown Point High School. Steamwhistle offers fresh roasted flavors from around the world, its very own coffee infused drinks and whole bean coffee with its own mix of espresso, to Chicago's renown Benjamin Tea's. Steamwhistle has its own branded merchandise including the popular Cold Brew Growler. Steanwhistle open its doors to every kind of taste, offering a breakfast/ lunch menu available all day.
Temple News Agency
Location: 816 Jefferson Ave., LaPorte Phone: 219-362-2676 Online: templenewsagency.com
In a building with a rich history as a newspaper office, the interior design and layout of LaPorte's Temple News Agency is evidence of classic taste. Sit down at the bar and you can order ice cream, daily lunch specials, breakfast items and coffee from Intelligentsia, Dagger Mountain and Dark Matter. Situated in the pleasant downtown area, this is a great shop to bring your coffee-loving friends and ice cream-obsessed kids.
Pictured: Temple News owner Joe Whicker
Troost Coffee & Tea
Location: 18155 Roy St., in Lansing. Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Troost serves coffee roasted by Metropolis in Chicago, the same roastery preferred by Grindhouse Cafe in Griffith and other Region coffee shops, and offers a range of loose leaf teas and espresso drinks like lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and Americanos.
Troost also sells "candy coffees," which is how owner owner Renae Kooy's grandfather described sugary coffees like those at gas station vending machines. Some of its most popular drinks include the lavender and vanilla "LLattes" and the Iced N' Troosty, espresso sweetened with Ceylon cinnamon, caramel, vanilla and whipped cream.
Location: 1400 E Lincolnway, in Valparaiso. Hours: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
and Saturday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“The purpose of our business would be to provide a local establishment where we serve good coffee, good food, and make people feel kind of like family” said Mackenzie Jones, employee.