Space at Block22 rebrands as The Co-Work Café 

A space in The Foundry — part of Pittsburg State’s Block22 development at Fourth and Broadway — has been rebranded as a space called The Co-Work Café and is giving those without public-facing offices of their own a place to work and meet with clients. 

It’s available to tenants on a six-month and year-long basis, and through day passes for professionals who are in town temporarily. 

PSU staff had previously been located there.  

With Broadway frontage, private sound-proof booths for phone calls or teleconferencing, plenty of desks and flexible seating spaces, an adjacent courtyard, and a shared wall with Root Coffeehouse & Creperie, coffeehouse owners Brad and Andra Stefanoni saw potential. 

“Telecommuting has become quite common since the pandemic, and we frequently had people inquire about renting table space in Root to do business,” Brad said. 

The couple came to an arrangement with The Foundry, which leases the coffeehouse its space, to allow them to assume management of the empty space next door for The Co-Work Café. Such spaces are common in large cities, they said, and they have researched several to borrow ideas they plan to implement in coming months.


Jeremy Johnson, a program evaluator for an agency 30 miles from Pittsburg, was the first to sign up and is saving himself an hour commute each day. 

"I love the view of Broadway, the location, the proximity to an awesome coffee shop next door, and I'm looking forward to the courtyard this spring," he said.  

Johnson’s job is ideal for telecommuting, but he found it challenging to work from home.  

"That's a place I want to relax and hang out in, do chores in, spend time with my wife and son in, and not have the lines blurred between those things and work," he said.  

"I'm also a social person, so I need to have people nearby in a sort of collision space — a place you run into people you know, have an exchange with, and maybe that leads to new ideas or involvement in the community in new ways." 

Four other tenants have signed on, including one who works for a large corporation in Wichita and one who is working on her doctoral degree and needed a quiet space away from her daytime office and her home in which to focus. 

Cowork cafe 2

Day passes have been popular, too. 

“One professional who works in Tulsa and one who works in Topeka wanted a place to meet and collaborate once a month, and this proved to be an ideal place,” Brad said. “They enjoyed coffee in the morning when they arrived, took a break for lunch and walked over to TOAST, had dinner at Brick + Mortar, and were really impressed with our thriving downtown. They plan to return on a regular basis.” 

Mary Louise Widmar, director of the Foundry, said it’s a project that directly aligns with the purpose of the Block22 development. 

"We're excited to partner with Root to bring this space to life in a way that will make a positive impact in our downtown living-working community," said Mary Louise Widmar, director of The Foundry.