Inside Downtown’s BlaCk Coffee Lounge, Where Culture, Community and ‘Amazing’ Coffee Intersect


The centerpiece mural of the newly opened BlaCk Coffee Lounge is colorful, featuring a large tree, coffee beans and music notes, as well as a street light with two intersecting street signs labeled “culture” and “community.” The lounge itself strives to be that intersection, a place where people of all communities can congregate to celebrate black culture while enjoying great coffee.

“My travels have revealed that coffee shops are some of the most important places in every community,” says Means Cameron, a Cincinnati native, avid coffee drinker and the owner of both BlaCk Coffee and the BlaCk OWned clothing brand/boutique, housed in the storefront next door. “Coffee shops should provide energy and support to the communities that they are in. I think we have great coffee in Cincinnati, but I didn’t feel the coffee shops were really connecting with specifically non-white communities. We expect people to visit BlaCk Coffee for what it represents and brings to the community and while they’re here they’ll discover that the coffee is amazing, too.”

BlaCk Coffee’s coffee is supplied by La Terza and their house “Wakanda” blend is a mix of Ethiopian, Rwandan and Brazilian beans. All of the food served at BlaCk Coffee come from black-female-owned businesses in Cincinnati; pastries are provided by Sweet Petit Desserts, the cakes are from Shana’s Sweet Treats and sandwiches are made by personal chef Chanel Jordan of Chanel’s Upscale Homestyle Cooking.

The coffee shop held its soft opening on July 19 and was officially open for business July 27. Cameron says they had over 1,000 customers in the first week and expect more business as word of mouth travels.

“I believe the community fell in love with the space before we ever opened our doors,” Cameron says. “We’re changing the downtown community and the way people do coffee in Cincinnati and people love that.”

Read a full feature on

BlaCk Coffee Lounge, 824 Elm St., Downtown,

| Photos by Elizabeth Davis