The mismatched furniture, from the vintage Victorian-era chairs to the orange velvet couch that looks like it belonged in the New York coffeeshop Central Perk on the set of “Friends,” is a perfect representation of the variety of people who are welcomed and come to the Raw Deal cofeeshop in Menomonie.
Each person can find a place, no matter where they are from, their major or how they prefer to identify, from the non-gender specific bathrooms, the wide support the Raw Deal gives to the LGBTQ community, its sustainable practices and its vegetarian and vegan-friendly items.
Age, gender and appearance vanish at the door. Everyone who steps inside sheds the societal pressures.
People are always trickling in, escaping from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Each sip of the organic, rich coffee dripping with the sweetest bitterness brings everyone together.
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The workers embodied the feeling of the casual cafe by welcoming others to be themselves, always willing to give advice and gravitating others to join the idea to embrace who they are.
Conversations flow throughout the room. However, everybody can be in their own little world. Yet no one is ever alone; they are still seamlessly connected: a meeting place where a conversation, creativity and coffee become the perfect blend.
The enormous space is draped with lights, laced with the smell of smoothies, fresh bakery goods and calming music, where someone can automatically find a cozy niche that they fit into and can stay all day. Washed and worn-out brick walls with unique designs are etched into the ceiling tiles and crown molding.
Walking into the Raw Deal in Menomonie is like walking into your own personal haven.