Come Together: Brothers infuse culture and community at Menomonie café
Ali, Ahmed, Feras, Yousef, Elyas, and Ammar Ameer don’t all live in the Midwest; two of them live in the brothers’ native Saudi Arabia. Yet over the distance, the sextet collaborated to open 6B, a coffee and hookah lounge on Menomonie’s main drag. It’s first of what the group hopes becomes a Chippewa Valley chain featuring beverage trends from around the world and “herbal hookah,” a nicotine-free recreational smoking experience. From the food and drink to the way the tables and chairs are arranged, this airy coffee shop at 316 Main St. East was designed to bring people together.
"Coffee is everywhere in the world, so why not make it somewhere where people can try coffee from all over the world, and bring people together?"
The menu features common coffee concoctions such as Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso shots, and more. But where 6B Café & Hookah Lounge really shines is in its exploration of beverages from around the world, including authentic matcha tea, Spanish lattes, and Turkish coffee. The owners travelled around the United States and the world in order to learn how to properly prepare regional favorites.
“Every time we make a blend or try something new, we try to find someone who actually knows how to make it,” Ali said. They visited a Japanese café in El Paso, Texas, to learn how to properly prepare Matcha. Feras is planning a trip to Vietnam in 2020 to explore the region’s coffee techniques and bring them back to Menomonie.
“Coffee is everywhere in the world, so why not make it somewhere where people can try coffee from all over the world, and bring people together?” Ali said.
6B also has plans in the works to host locals from different backgrounds and communities at the shop to share their culture with others. During these events, 6B will offer cultural fare and provide a space for experts to educate guests.
“If a Turkish person comes, they meet a Japanese person and they meet an American person, and it’s nice,” Ali said.
The six brothers have kindness and equity in mind in their business practices. They buy their coffee blend from a Midwestern roaster that sources it through fair trade options. “It’s amazing, not only serving coffee from fair trade, the people we deal with actually support Ecuadorians as well,” Ali said.
The brothers to keep prices low so that UW-Stout students can enjoy a good cup of coffee in a diverse, friendly environment frequently throughout the school year.
You can find 6B Café & Hookah’s menu and event listings on Facebook @6bcafe. The café, which also serves pastries and crepes, is open 7am-7pm Monday-Friday, Saturdays 9am-10pm, and Sundays 9am-7pm.