New coffeehouse opens in Ephraim
The blue, purple and yellow shine brightly under the large, open windows in the front room of Sip, the new coffeehouse at 10326 Water St. (Hwy 42) in north Ephraim. Everything from the mermaid and pirate signs on the restroom doors, to the giant flower ball hanging from the main room’s ceiling, creates the feeling of a welcoming, joyful home.
The iced coffee I ordered was out in a minute or less, and while I waited for my food, I wandered around the decked-out, two-story building. The low pop music prevented it from feeling like a stage, and the workers were welcoming and quick to help.
Co-owner Jennie Bexell said she and her brother, co-owner and general manager Fred Bexell, chose this place, which was previously the Rusty Rabbit gift shop, while looking for a warehouse space.
“We were sitting in the house having a glass of wine and just thought, ‘This needs to be a bar,’” she said. “To me, the concept created itself, and I let the building tell me what it wanted to be.”
Each room feels like it caters to different types of people, with some dimmer and more sheltered from the windows, and some tables right next to them. Sip’s long hours, 7 am – 9 pm, are also meant to accommodate the wine-bar aspect of the restaurant.
“Coffee is something we definitely don’t have enough of up here,” Bexell said. “We want it to be somewhere where you can have an adult beverage without it feeling rushed.”
The lunch menu offers flatbreads, salads, bagels and a potato waffle with crème fraîche, which I tried. With a small side of fruit and a serving as big as a plate, it was an easily shareable portion that could be part of a family-style brunch.
The outdoor patio was a mix of shade and sun. Along with a few traditional tables, there was a high-top ready for eight people, plus wicker lounge chairs and couches underneath canopies.
Bexell said she wants Sip to be a place where people can relax and sit and read a book for a few hours if they want.
“I want people to walk in and go, ‘Ah, home.’”