Luna Coffeehouse Combines Art & Coffee in NKC

Rosales pours a cup of Turkish coffee.

Rosales pours a cup of Turkish coffee.

Artist Erin Rosales brings a creative business approach to Luna Coffeehouse, the new shop she owns at 1329 Swift Avenue in North Kansas City. The coffeehouse doubles as a retail space for high-quality artwork and gifts from local artists. Rosales and business partner Sheryl Godsy also co-own Dare to Dabble, an interactive art studio that hosts workshops in the rear space of the same building.

Luna Coffeehouse serves fresh ground coffee made with The Roasterie’s beans. Turkish coffee is one of the specialty drinks.

“It’s a drink that I fell in love with a few years ago,” Rosales says. “Turkish is very strong and we actually serve a double when you order it. Traditionally, it is about one ounce, similar to a shot of espresso. The grinds are finer than espresso so much so that you should be able to see your fingerprint in them. Hand-grinding is the only way to do it. Overall, the drink is sweet and resembles a hot chocolate when it is poured.”

Luna also carries local baked goods from 8-Bit Bakery. Rosales says, “They developed some tasty scones for us that are a nice complement to the large selection of sweets that we serve.”

Rosales plans to add tea and chai from Hugo Tea, the local tea company and neighbor located a few buildings down the street. She says, “It will be nice to also sell their tea in The Handmade & Local Market that we have.”

Rosales behind the hand-painted (and monster-movie themed) counter at Luna.

Rosales behind the hand-painted (and monster-movie themed) counter at Luna.

Moonstruck Chocolates from Portland echo Luna’s celestial theme, but Rosales’ reason for carrying the confections was more aesthetic: the shop stocks Moonstruck’s striking dark chocolate raspberry and fennel bark bar as well as other flavors.

“When I was in Portland, I made a point to visit their chocolate shops as much as possible. They really are one of my favorite chocolate makers,” says Rosales. “Their artisan barks are so unique and infused with the best flavors. From an artistic standpoint, I just find their products to be visually stunning.”

Space to create, display and sell visual work was important to Rosales as an artist-entrepreneur when setting up shop. After scouring the city for possible sites, she decided to open Luna and Dare to Dabble in the Northtown space when downtown locations didn’t suit her needs.

“We needed a space that was on the larger end so that we could house all of our studio supplies,” Rosales says. “It didn’t take long once we started looking in North Kansas City to find a building with a wide open space.”

The building, formerly a light industrial warehouse, provides ample room for art shows and events, which suited Rosales.

“As an maker/artist, it’s hard to find places other than shows to sell your work. The Internet is great but there is a lot out there to compete with,” Rosales says. “When you feature your items as locally made, it helps push your work to the front of the line. Consumers like to support items made in their city. The market is great because Handmade and Local is all we sell.”

Luna carries art prints by Dick Daniels, lip balms from Messner Family Farm and an eclectic mix of other goods and gifts.

The Handmade & Local section at Luna Coffeehouse.

The Handmade & Local section at Luna Coffeehouse.

The interactive art studio and coffeehouse in the same space works in concert, providing both a creative outlet for customers and a social gathering space with coffee and food available. Luna can also sell alcohol and carries a limited selection of bottled craft beer. The coffeehouse sells wine by the glass and Irish coffees.

Rosales created this inspiring environment not only for artists, but for everyone in the community to gather, socialize and make plans.

“The coffeehouse is a great place for small meet-ups,” she says. “We have a bunch of events coming up in the near future. Beer and Leathercrafts is on June 27th. For $25, you get a flight of beer and get to play around with leather tools in the studio.”

Whether the appeal is hot coffee, artisan chocolate, craft beer, local gift shopping, or creating a project or artwork with the studio’s vast supplies, Luna Coffeehouse and Dare to Dabble make downtown North Kansas City a decidedly hip place to hang out.


Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer and author of Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City's Best Chefs and Cooks.

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