Polly's Coffee Cove: an East Side St. Paul haven

“A cove is a safe harbor,” explains Ann Polachek, owner of Polly’s Coffee Cove on the east side of St. Paul. Just watch, practically everyone who walks by Polly’s sticks their head into this cozy little nook and says “hi!”

Located in a former Swedish grocery store, Polly’s feels homey as Grandma’s house and smells like a rustic lake cabin. Polly’s is full of tchotchkes--“everything in Polly’s has a story”, says owner Polachek. She then tells me about “Uncle Elmo,” a ruffled purple coleus plant in the window that belonged to her friend's Uncle Elmo. Over time, the plant also became known as Uncle Elmo and Polachek offers Uncle Elmo’s cuttings (they're rooting in soda bottles) for customers to plant in their gardens.

Polly’s serves coffee, smoothies, deserts and Bridgeman’s ice cream from across their rustic bead board front counter. Focaccia sandwiches are offered daily and occasional BBQ in the evenings.

Polachek knows all the neighbors and promotes their livelihood in her coffee shop: homemade jams and pickles are offered for sale, dog-sitting and other services are advertised. Polly’s also hosts book readings, including a recent one for the latest St. Paul Almanac. And, for two-dollars you can get your own “East Side Pride” yard sign.

Polly’s is what a neighborhood coffee shop is supposed to be-- a place drink coffee while you meet your neighbors and talk about what is going on in your hood--a very safe harbor, indeed.

Polly's Coffee Cove (651) 771-5531

1382 Payne Ave St Paul, MN 55130 Hours—M-F 6:30-5 Sat 7-3 Sun 8-2 Available for private parties

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