Coffee with Hope on the Side

Community Matters Cafe

A passerby on West First Street strolling along in search of food and coffee may stumble across a charming café and choose to dine there. Inside, though, they’ll find much more than delicious food and beverages: Community Matters Café offers a sense of renewed possibility to the people who work there.

At 5550 SF with a 212-seat capacity, Community Matters Café is an extension of Charlotte Rescue Mission, which provides housing and counseling services for people substance dependencies in an effort to restore hope.  Graduates of the Mission’s recovery program can then complete a four-month training program to learn valuable skills such as pastry making and barista services as well as time management and schedules at Community Matters Café.

Given the commitment to restoration and renewal, it’s appropriate that the design of the building has its own story of restoration and rehabilitation. LS3P’s renovation for the Charlotte Rescue Mission transformed the 100-year old Southern Spindle and Flyer building in Charlotte’s Third Ward neighborhood, an underutilized historic industrial structure into a welcoming, light-filled café.

The Southern Spindle building provides a unique setting to house its hospitality and culinary training program which features a café, restaurant, kitchen, private dining room, and bathrooms.  The Charlotte Rescue Mission has owned the building since 1959, which is part of its 1st Street campus; the structure has served primarily as a thrift shop for the Mission and later as a storage building.  Located adjacent to the men’s campus and easily accessible from Uptown Charlotte, the cafe serves dual purposes of training residents and bringing awareness to the men’s and women’s programs of the Mission.

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