A short walk from the campus, right across from Silver Dollar, is the newly opened café and hookah lounge called 6B. Despite it being a hookah lounge, the space is well ventilated and open to all ages. In the back of the café is a large room, which will serve as a quiet study area once the café gets more tables and chairs. The café and lounge is a place to spend time with friends or to study with a cup of coffee.
The establishment is family owned and is run by multiple brothers. While three of the brothers, Ali, Fi, and Ahmed Albahrani came to UW-Stout to get their electrical engineering degrees in 2013, they grew a fondness for Menomonie and its people.
“We decided to invest in Menomonie, you know, give back to the people,” Ali Albahrani explained. By the time Ali Albahrani came back to the university to get his masters, his brothers Joseph and Amar were Stout students as well and became a part of the business.
The name of the café, 6B, comes from the fact that it was formed by six brothers. Four of them currently work there. Since they aimed to give to the community, they wanted to see what was missing from it. Because many students enjoy hookah, they decided to make a hookah lounge and a place to serve coffee and cold drinks.
They were faced with a question of how they would introduce something new to a town with multiple coffee shops. They went through many shops from Minneapolis, Chicago, Austin, Houston and Dallas in search for creative and interesting things they can do with coffee. From this journey they had the idea to create art drinks such as their black flora and rainbow matcha, which feature art on the surface of the drink. Little by little, they would also like to introduce more international drinks like their Turkish coffee and Spanish latte. They put plenty of time into experimentation with coffee, but they plan to add more variety in their menu with foods as well.
Though these brothers strive for the best quality they can make, they don’t want to break anyone’s budget. They serve everything at the lowest price they can to keep the operation afloat. “My plan is actually to come up with an idea where students can go through different coffee shops [in] the area so we’re not competing in the community, we’re actually working together,” Ali Albahrani stated. He is currently thinking about a booklet that encourages people to go to different shops through offers which are stamped after the offer is used so customers don’t go back to the same places with the same offers, therefore the customer is influenced to try new things. They plan on talking to the city about this plan once they are done.
Ali Albahrani wanted to say thank you to family members, community members, customers, those who have spread the word about the café, and those who brought friends and family to the café.