Muse Café

photography by Mackenzie Frank

Cincinnati, Ohio —

Thanks to the efforts of its most passionate citizens, Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood is undergoing an unmistakable revitalization. But as shops and events sprang up around the historic town hall, it was clear that one thing was missing: a community gathering place. Thanks to Muse Café, which opened last July, that’s no longer a problem.

The coffee shop/wine bar/café features a laid back atmosphere with stylish decor and serves as a hub for art, conversation, and community. A rotating menu with a variety of paninis, cheese plates, pastries, seasonal slaws, and gluten-free items keeps customers coming back to enjoy their favorites and to see what’s new. “We have a little something for everyone, from excellent coffee drinks, carefully selected wines, crafted cocktails, local beer, and yummy food,” says co-owner Shawnteé Stallworth Schramm.

Muse focuses on local, organic ingredients including locally grown produce, coffee from Seven Hills and Deeper Roots, and packaged snacks like Grateful Grahams. The café also carries a retail wine selection and healthy to-go items like Umpqua oats. “We purchase all of our pastries and bread from a local bakery,” says Stallworth Schramm. “And we make gluten-free bread for our sandwiches and gluten free pastries in-house with dedicated equipment. We have a gluten-free panini grill for sandwiches, and we build gluten-free items separately from our sandwich prep area.”

Muse’s owners are as invested in community building as they are in providing quality food and drinks. “We hold meetings, events, gatherings, and weekly musical acts, and very soon Muse will start hosting art shows,” says Stallworth Schramm. “Like the nine muses, Muse Cafe is meant to be a hub for art, music, and ideas.”

Muse Café
3018 Harrison Ave.
Mon 7am–11am; Tue–Wed 7am–10pm; Thu 7am–11pm;
Fri 7am–midnight; Sat 8am–midnight; Sun 10am–3pm

Sarah is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer and editor. She frequently writes about design,  creative projects, and career advice. Prior to launching her own business in 2013, Sarah served as an editor for HOW magazine for 16 years. You can find her portfolio online and connect with her via LinkedIn @SarahMWhitman.