It might be too cold today for an iced mocha – but a steaming cup of coffee sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Add a delicious sandwich on your choice of bread including focaccia, croissant, or a wrap, and you have a perfect lunch. Then, maybe, top off the lunch with a little sweet snack from their pastry case.
In the past 19 years, Harborside Common Grounds owner Bobbi Duczack went from a wet-behind-the-ears new business owner who didn’t even drink coffee to the owner of a successful downtown icon, who still doesn’t like coffee. It doesn’t matter if Bobbi likes her coffee, it only matters that the customers do, and judging by her success, they certainly do!
Beyond the charming mismatched furniture, beyond the gorgeous outdoor deck, beyond the billion dollar view of the beautiful harbor, there is some rich history behind the building itself. Bobbi gave us a special tour of the building and gave us a brief history lesson into the building, which at one time was a fish market selling the freshest fish possible.
Back in 1927, the building was known as Ansorge and Chambers Fish Market and it was THE place to go for the best fish in town. The lower level of the building was ready to accept the fish straight off of the boat. The fish were then stored in a special cooler until they were sold. This new invention of air conditioning was expensive, so to keep the fish cool, pipes were created which brought that cool Lake Michigan water straight in to help refrigerate the fish. The cooler is still in the basement of Common Grounds, but no longer used to keep their food cool.
Harborside Common Grounds is located at 5159 Sixth Avenue in Downtown Kenosha. call them at (262) 652-5111 and like them on Facebook.
“We love going there for lunch, sitting in the room with open windows. Feeling the breeze and eating delicious sandwiches with Dijon mustard. So tasty. Generous portions. Try the mango smoothie. Yum!” – Francis K.
“The vanilla chai was awesome! The staff was super friendly. The place is so cute. The decks out back are really nice. Great location! If I lived in Kenosha, I’d be at this place all the time!” – Michelle T.
“Common grounds is anything but common, it’s definitely the best place to grab a coffee in Kenosha. Their staff, drinks, food and service are excellent!” – Joe W.
“When you walk in this small-town coffee shop you step into what feels like somebody’s cozy lakefront beach house – only with awesome coffee!” – Cherie M.
Flashback to the 5100 block of Sixth Avene in 1927!
According to Wright’s Kenosha Street and Avenue Guide and the Householder’s Directory of 1927, there were quite a few prominent residents in the 5100 block of Sixth Avenue 92 years ago. It is unclear if these are actual businesses, or the residences of the business owners (surely some are one, some are the other, some are both). To delve deeper into the rich history of Kenosha, visit the Kenosha History Center, located on Simmons Island at 220 51st Place, click kenoshahistorycenter.org for more.
5100 Leo Haney, soft drinks
5104 John Maliszewski, shoe repair
5108 Wm J Threinen, Wallpaper & Paints
5118 Michael Kulicky, soft drinks
5124 Michael Johanowicz, restr.
5126 Casimir Pawloski, photog
5132-34 Frank Goerndt, shoes
5136 John Hemmingway, restr.
5142 John Pabarska, shoes
5144 Joe Uzusonia, rest.
5148 John Shurpa, soft drinks
5152 John Shimanausksas, soft drinks
5164 Grand View Hotel
5105 Mrs Marie Knelp & Danl T Tipmore
5109 Paul F. Nehls
5119 Fred Rommelfanger
5125 Mrs. Minnie Sandgren
5131 Standard Oil Company
5159 Ansorge & Chambers Fish Market
(This story first appeared in Downtown Kenosha Magazine Vol.12 #3, Summer/Fall 2019)
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