Brews News

Sitwells Coffee House

Chad W. Lutz
To say it was a hot day would be doing a great disservice. Summertime in the Queen City means a lot of things: 9mm wake up calls, the whistle of trains on damp tracks, and heat. Lots and lots of heat. The weekend my girlfriend and I went down to visit my brother it was off-the-charts hot. We’re talking rain forest sweaty. The humidity was so dense it must’ve rained four different times within a half hour time span. We darted in and out of as many stores on Ludlow as we could, including the original Skyline without eating, trying to escape the heat and indecisive sky. That’s when we ran into Sitwells Coffee House (not literally).

Nestled next to an old movie theatre and a hodgepodge antique store was this glorious looking coffee shop with neon marques attracting us like neighborhood kids to the ice cream man. While my eyes slowly adjusted, my first impression of Sitwells was groovy. Low lighting and wooden décor greeted us as we walked through the door. People were idly talking, laughing, and pleasantly sipping away in the wonderfully air-conditioned seating area. A suspended TV hanging just off the kitchen played vintage movies with names and faces long forgotten in modern age. I had the sense everyone was having an intellectually stimulating conversation. Even if that wasn’t the truth, the feel of the place alone had me fooled.

Their menu was simple and eclectic all at once. Sitwells Coffee House offers a wide array of sandwiches and pastries perfect for a quick bite or an afternoon lunch with friends. I wasn’t in the mood for a full meal, but desperately needed to try their coffee. Looking back I’m not sure why I felt the urge or the desire to buy a hot cup of coffee in the middle of a 90 degree July afternoon, but I did. Thankfully, I wasn’t let down.

Everything I encountered looked the part of a “local coffee shop.” The tables and checkered floor looked worn from love. Patrons and employees went about their business with an odd sort of smug you only find in quaint shops like Sitwells. What began as a simple coffee shop in 1995 now stands as a community staple and a favorite among authors, poets, coffee lovers, and University of Cincinnati college students alike.

Sitwells Coffee House serves breakfast from open to 4p.m. daily. Want a bite late at night? Sitwells stays open until 1a.m. weeknights and 2a.m. weekends and even offers a full stock bar. Had I known this when I made my visit, I may have never left. A diamond in the all-too-often rough neighborhood known as the Nasty Natti, Sitwells Coffee House serves up a steaming cup of coffee clout, cool vibes, and delicious foods. Because of my fateful trek down a desert Ludlow, I now know a great place to beat the heat. And, if you’ve walked away from this article with anything, you know a great place to grab some grub.


Sitwells Coffee House
Open: Sunday – Thursday 8a.m. to 1a.m.; Friday – Saturday 8a.m. to 2a.m.
(513) 281-7487
324 Ludlow Ave.Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
Prices: $1.50 - $7.75