Inside the new Colectivo on Monroe Street.
When Colectivo opened in the Tenney building two years ago (has it been two years already?) it was an instant hit, providing the bigger-city vibe the Square had been yearning for in a coffee shop. The surprise is how comfortably this translates to suburban Monroe Street, where the Milwaukee-based company opened its 14th store at the beginning of March.
A long communal table is populated with hipsters absorbed in their MacBooks. Full-sized glass-paned garage doors form the walls to the main cafe area; they lift to create a “sidewalk cafe” area that’s also protected from the elements. A few shabby-chic armchairs can be pulled up to a gas fireplace.
The menu offers the same sandwiches, burritos, smoothies and coffee drinks, plus three house beers on tap. (Growlers are now available for take-home.)
Colectivo’s daily roasts are reliable in no-fuss cups of the day. Must-have drinks are the cortado, espresso and steamed milk served in an elegant cortado glass; and the white chocolate frappe, espresso blended with ice and sweetened with white chocolate. With no milk, ice cream or other dairy, it provides a starker jolt, coupled with sweet.