Risen from the ashes: Blooming Grounds Coffee House returns

Allison Mueller

Blooming Grounds Coffee House, located in downtown Winona, has been expanded and renovated before reopening. Photo credit: JESUS CAZARES

Elizabeth Pulanco/ Winonan

Blooming Grounds Coffee House has finally returned.

After a fire shut down the coffee house last September, the business expanded their East 3rd Street location into the space once occupied by a former boutique next door. The extra space has not only allowed them to create more room for customers, but it has also given them more ways to increase the café’s style.

The coffee house has been re-decorated with strings of lights draped across the ceiling, and the menu placed on various chalkboards along the walls. Owner Amy Jo Marks also added a bar and updated the color scheme. There is a space tucked into the back of the café available for live music performances.

Many returning customers like the new renovations.

“It has more of a relaxed feel to it and a more modern color scheme and design,” Erica Thomas, a returning customer said, while waiting for her meal.

Along with the lights and other new additions, the music quietly playing in the background also helped enhance the calm and relaxing environment.

There were no signs of declining business after the remodeling. Customers were lining up and employees were taking orders in the middle of a lunch rush.

The café was full of different types of diners. Whether they were eating food while visiting with friends or just having a nice meal to themselves, everyone seemed to enjoy what Blooming Grounds had to offer. There were also some first time visitors mixed in as well.

“I work across the street, and I have heard good things about the food,” Shaelee Schmidt, who was enjoying her first meal at Blooming Grounds, said. “I also heard that they have more options on the menu now.”

The new additions to the menu and to the layout of the restaurant do not only make Blooming Grounds a great place for people who are just visiting downtown Winona, but it also makes the coffee house a space for students.

“It is a nice spot for students to hang out and to support a local establishment,” Emily Meyer said, as she ate lunch with a friend.

Although Blooming Grounds is full of new additions, it still has the same charm it did before last year’s fire. The windows of the restaurant give customers a clear view of the downtown area.

Since its reopening, customers can now move freely without an overwhelming rush to get in and out as a result of having more space since renovating. As more and more people encounter and rediscover Blooming Grounds, they also find themselves creating an experience unique to Winona.