Common Ground Middleton

More Than Your Average Coffee Shop
by Robin Gray
December 2018

Common Ground Middleton

Common Ground Middleton

I expected Common Ground to be a coffee shop. It is that and so much more. It is a restaurant, gathering place, and event space. The owner Adrienne Hulburt-Stroud says in a recent GoFundMe campaign “ We have come so far, and offered so many amazing workshops, discussions, live music, art classes, support groups, fundraisers and also just strive to be a day to day comfortable and welcoming place for community members to gather over local food & drink, board games, great music and events”. I will get to all that but start with the food.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, (Monday to Saturday), Friday fish fry, and a Sunday brunch. They use local vendors for many food and drink items. The Chef at Common Ground is Corey Topel. The menu is eclectic and has something for anyone and everyone. The menu has some new items for fall and I ordered the Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese. Along with the apple and cheddar it had candied walnuts, garlic aioli and was grilled on sourdough bread which was crusted on the outside with cheese (nothing like a crunchy fried cheese). The burger section of the menu has some fun options. Each can be made with a patty of beef, chicken, black bean and sweet potato, or falafel. The soup of the day was clam chowder and it was a tasty and spiced up version of new style chowder. I also enjoyed the deviled eggs which were beet cured and made with curry and goat cheese. There is a wide selection of drinks including smoothies, coffee, tea, wine, and wine. They also are “committed to changing the way that restaurants impact the earth” by using compostable and biodegradable containers, straws, cups, and lids rather than single use plastic items.

They have so many happenings and events that there is a monthly newsletter to list them all. There are events for kids and families such as weekly Tuesday morning music with David Landau, pop-up preschool, well stocked game shelves, and scouting meetings. The most recent newsletter lists coffee with a cop, coffee with care givers (for those caring for people with Alzheimers and dementia), book discussions, and a sing along with the Madison Area Ukulele Initiative. The Common Ground staff has received training to be dementia friendly and they have regular monthly memory cafes with support staff to help those with dementia enjoy dining out. Some events are revolving and others are weekly and ongoing. Have I mentioned that they host yoga, comedy improv night, or that the cozy and roomy upstairs that can be used or rented for private events and other community offerings? Well that is there too. There is also lots and lots of music happening at the Common Ground. There is a Bluegrass Jam every Monday night, Jazz night twice a month on Thursdays, Durango’s Roadhouse radio show (102.9) is live every Saturday evening with weekly guests, open mic twice a month on Wednesdays, as well as Live music for Friday’s fish fry.

Common Ground is a locally and family owned place that has been open and operating for 9 months. It is clear that owner Adrienne is a community builder who is looking to share space for the common good by allowing others to find common ground through drink, food, music, and connection.

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