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Hardline Coffee and Art SUX Gallery are Siouxland's coolest hangout

On historic downtown Fourth Street, two unique businesses have teamed up to create what is possibly Sioux City's coolest place to hang out: Art SUX Gallery and Hardline Coffee. Here's what Siouxland locals and visitors should know about these two great places under the same roof.  

in background, the Art SUX logo on the brick wall outside the gallery

Where are Hardline Coffee and Art SUX Gallery?

Hardline Coffee and Art SUX Gallery are located at 515 4th Street in downtown Sioux City, Iowa. The building was originally home to the T.S. Martin Department Store beginning slightly more than a century ago, and more recently to Karlton's clothing store. Other businesses currently on the same block include Trattoria Fresco and Brightside Cafe. There is street parking available in front which is metered; however, metered parking in Sioux City is free on weekends and evenings. 

Hardline Coffee

When you pass the cute brick patio with bistro tables outside and enter the doors of 515 4th Street, you walk right into Hardline Coffee. Nisa Salmen started Hardline Coffee in 2018 and is so nice. She owns and operates Hardline Coffee and I got to meet her when I went in recently. She's very good at what she does, both the business side of managing the kitchen and cafe, and the culinary side of choosing flavors and making drinks, but she also exudes charisma and cool. It'd be easy to stay and chat with her the whole time you're drinking your coffee. Hardline of course has lots of coffee, including a really cool seasonal menu with creative espresso-based drinks, and everyday classics like americanos and pour-overs and cold-brew. But they also have non-coffee drinks including various teas, lemonades, and ciders. I had a pumpkin cold foam plus got my kids lemonade, and all of our drinks were delicious and refreshing.
Hardline normally carries a small selection of baked goods but go early for the best selection. I went when they were like an hour from closing, and they were already completely sold out.
At time of posting, Hardline Coffee is open from 7am to 3pm on Monday through Friday, and from 8am to 2pm on the weekend. 
To find out more about Hardline Coffee, visit the Hardline Coffee website or connect with Hardline Coffee on Instagram.

Art SUX Gallery

Once you go past the Hardline Coffee counter (preferably with a drink in hand, but no pressure!), the rest of the first floor and all of the second floor are the Art SUX Gallery. Art SUX is an art collaborative, with many local artists as members. The name is a cheeky nod to Sioux City's airport code, SUX. And one of those local SUX artists, Amy Thompson, spearheaded the effort to start Art SUX, originally in the Ho-Chunk building in 2019, and then re-opened in their current building in summer 2021. Thompson and her husband bought the building and started Art SUX to give not just themselves but also other local artists a wonderful environment to share their art with Siouxland visitors. And walking in is a delight. The art includes a wide variety of mediums and subjects, including pottery, painting, photography, and sculpture. While the themes do vary widely, much of it is very modern and my favorite was the brightly colored pieces like this smiley face painting from Brutal Doodles. 

At time of writing, the artists at Art SUX Gallery include:
  • Amy Thompson
  • Andy, Chaeli, & Derek Kohn
  • Bette Skewis-Arnett
  • Britton Hacke
  • Derek Buckley
  • Frank Salazar
  • Gail Ray
  • Jack Weiss
  • Jean Guy Richard
  • Jessica Hammond
  • Kitty Hart
  • Kristen Vo
  • Lori Pruehs
  • Lucas Harbeck
  • Mary Sterk
  • Matt O'Kane
  • Paula Crandell
  • Rick Baker
  • Robin Vaughan
  • Rooted in Reiki by Vanessa Bremer
  • Sandy Wienhold
  • Shannon Sargent
  • Thomas Kleber
The lineup is fairly consistent but does rotate some occasionally, so I encourage you to check the Art SUX website or social media to keep up with changes if you're going to see or buy works from a specific artist and aren't sure if they're still with Art SUX.
Renovating a historic building isn't without its challenges. While they've done a beautiful job of transforming the space in a way that still honors its past and showcases its features, they have run into some tough things. One of the primary projects they dream of eventually completing is installing an elevator. Art SUX is currently working towards grants and other funding sources to install an elevator in their building to make the second-floor galleries accessible to all. I'm so excited for this to happen, because it will mean people in wheelchairs and strollers can get to the second story and see so much more of the cool art.

Take Art, Leave Art, Love Art

One of the most fun features in the Art SUX Gallery is the take/leave/love shelf. Everyone who visits is invited to leave and/or take art. Last time we visited, I left a little sloth mom and baby finger puppet I had made, and we took a graphic novel that my 10-year-old was really excited about. So, thank you to whoever left the book, and you're welcome to whoever chose the sloths. Anyway, when you head to Art SUX, consider bringing along something little you or your kids have made so that it can spread joy with others too. 

Events at Hardline Coffee and Art SUX

Hardling Coffee and Art SUX love hosting creative events, and host regular "creative hang" type meetings where people can come and bring whatever they are currently working on. They also host open mic nights, art popups, and participate in Art Walk events with other local art organizations.

Art SUX for Kids

Art SUX is full of people who love art and are passionate about making sure kids have opportunities to express themselves creatively and find their own love of art too. Thompson in particular used to be an English teacher and was excited about the prospect of putting those skills to use teaching future artists. Art SUX usually hosts monthly events for kids, usually on-site but also sometimes other places, like at the Sioux City Farmer's Market where my kids recently got to decorate some Crumb cookies with frosting and sprinkles provided by Art SUX.  Watch the Art SUX for Kids facebook page for the latest updates on their kids events.

To learn more about Art SUX Gallery in general, visit the Art SUX website or connect with them on Facebook and Instagram

We are lucky to have this cool community treasure in downtown Siouxland, and i'm so excited to see what the future holds for Art SUX and Hardline Coffee!


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