The Lighthouse Coffee Bar in Midlothian is a gathering place for the community, art, great eats and drinks.

The coffee bar has been at its current location since 2009, when it opened its doors to the public and expanding its menu to include sandwiches and signature eats with its coffees and drinks.

“We wanted a safe place for the young people in the community to hang out and a place for the community to gather,” Dan Cooper, pastor of The Lighthouse Church said. “We started having concerts on Friday nights and we ran a small coffee bar at the concerts. The noise of the concerts wasn’t conducive to the coffee bar atmosphere, so when this building became available it was an ideal opportunity.”

The coffee bar serves as a ministry of The Lighthouse Church to provide a place, not only for young people, but also a space for community, civic and church organizations or groups to meet.

“I have a jewelry business, and it’s a really good place to come in and casually sit down with my clients and people on my team. It’s a good place to eat and do business,” said Rachelle Ivy, Park Lane Jewelry fashion director.

Cooper noted that when the current building was purchased it had served as a pawn shop and much of it was in disrepair. Though the reconstruction presented a challenge, it also provided an opportunity for an unique coffee bar atmosphere.

“We really have an eclectic décor,” he said. “We kept most of the natural wood from the pawn shop and added a lot of recycled materials to create its atmosphere.”

The Lighthouse Coffee Bar features stunning paintings, photos and illustrations by local and area artists, adding an element of sophistication and creativity to the relaxed coffee bar scene.

When groups and locals gather at the coffee bar, they are drawn by the atmosphere just as much as the great food and drinks.

“My favorite is the Michigan chicken salad, it’s always real fresh,” Ivy said “The service is fabulous – I love it.”

Cooper said some of the favorite items on the Lighthouse Coffee Bar’s menu are the Michigan chicken, Southwest chicken and apple walnut salads, Tuscan and Mediterranean paninis, galaxy drink and all of the real fruit smoothies.

The coffee bar also features fresh baked pastries, croissants and other good eats along with a different soup of the day. Seasonal speciality items are offered with a catchy theme. This summer, the Lighthouse Coffee Bar is offering Summer Reading items – a series of cold drinks and smoothies named after literary classics such as James and the Giant Peach, Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn and Robinson Crusoe.

The Lighthouse Coffee Bar also seeks to act an humanitarian supporter by only using direct and fair trade, meaning the coffee bean supplier knows the source and that laborers are treated and reimbursed appropriately.

“It’s one of our goals to be able to support local and international charities,” Cooper said. “We donated funds to two orphanages, one in Romania and Acapulco.

One of the Lighthouse’s efforts to support charities was through its North 9th Art and Music Festival “Creative Culture for Change” in April.

“We wanted the focus for the festival to be more than just to bring people to the coffee bar,” he said. “We were able to support over 20 ministries and raise awareness for what people are doing.”

The festival hosted booths from various local, national and international charities to promote awareness of their causes. The art and music side of the festival include local crafts, paintings, sculptures and many mediums of art. Two musical artists gaining national notoriety headlined the event with several local bands playing at the venue.

The Lighthouse Coffee Bar will host Jared Gullett and Isaac Vansil at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, July 28. The coffee bar is located at 1404 N. 9th Street in Midlothian.

For more information about the Lighthouse Coffee Bar, visit www.lighthousecoffeebar.com or call 972-723-5282.

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