Books, Music, and Coffee Off-the-Beaten Path: Cafe Rothem in Duluth, GA

What coffee shop(s) come to mind when you hear the words books and coffee? There are a few in Atlanta, perhaps the most well-known is Read Shop in Vinings (previously profiled here). Today’s post aims to spotlight another coffee shop in the metro Atlanta area known as Cafe Rothem.

This coffee shop is not known widely known and, in fact, may be considered well off-the-beaten path. When I first entered the coffee shop, I was taken aback by the large bookshelves here and the abundant space inside this coffee shop. After I placed my order, I spoke with the owner, James, about this coffee shop and what makes it special. You can browse the books during your visit, of course, but Cafe Rothem also has a yearly membership plan (it’s called Book Club) similar to a local library for those that want to borrow a book for an extended period of time (up to a year, apparently).

During my visit, James escorted me around the space and showed me some highlights: for instance, there is a large conference room at Cafe Rothem that can be rented daily or by the hour for business meetings. Cafe Rothem is also known as a place for music and Open Mic night—it’s held every first Monday of the month (the next one is happening on Monday, March 4!). Note the grand piano inside Cafe Rothem as you scroll through the photos below.

The tagline of Cafe Rothem is apropos of the space: Books. Music. Coffee.

What’s in a Name?

The first question people ask: what is Cafe Rothem named after? Helpfully, there’s a page on Cafe Rothem’s site with an explanation:

Our name comes from the Rothem tree, the Hebrew name for the juniper tree, which makes many appearances in the Bible. (--although it's technically the white broom tree.)

 The rothem tree is common in the deserts of the Middle East, from Jordan down to Egypt.  Although its leaves are very small and sparse, simple, and linear, it nevertheless forms a very agreeable shade in desert regions. In some parts of the desert, it is often the only bush that affords any shade…

I think you'll get what we're all about from our favorite story of the Rothem tree:

In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life from Jezebel and King Ahab, who were furious at him. Exhausted and weary in the desert, he rested under the shade of a rothem tree, praying for death. There, he was visited by an angel, who gave him the courage to go on.

So Cafe Rothem’s intention is to be your rothem tree to get some rest in your busy life.

The Space

Cafe Rothem features high ceilings, plenty of seating, and a large selection of books on the shelves. The place is like a scavenger hunt—as you approach various shelves, you’ll never know what you’ll discover! Pro tip: if you have children, Cafe Rothem would be a great place to bring them for some exploration.

Cafe Rothem features high ceilings, plenty of seating, and a large selection of books.

Books and more books. The books are in both English and Korean.

Detail from a bookshelf at Cafe Rothem.

There are cute little spots throughout Cafe Rothem. The next two photos show my favorite little nooks inside the coffee shop:

Cute decorations at Cafe Rothem. I like that book-end holder.

A beautiful, cozy corner at Cafe Rothem. This photo was featured on the Atlanta Coffee Shops Instagram page.

Does anyone remember Encyclopedia Britannica?

Some vintages atlases for your viewing or reading pleasure.

Another view of the interior of Cafe Rothem.

Hello, gramophone.

There are vinyl records in the coffee shop as well. This is where the music part of the coffee shop shines. There’s also light ambient music playing in the background.

The Menu

Cafe Rothem features a selection of food and drink options. On the food menu, there are waffles, pastries, sandwiches, rice bowls, and bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert). On the drinks menu, there are traditional coffee drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes, as well as a nitro cold brew. Cafe Rothem is partnered with the local coffee roaster Phoenix Roasters. You’ll also find tea options and a great selection of smoothies (which I can personally recommend).

Nitro Cold Brew!

The menu(s) at Cafe Rothem. Coffee drinks, teas, smoothies, waffles, and even ice cream are available.

Detail of the menus at Cafe Rothem.

Exit, stage left. (There is a conference room that can be rented out in the back which I didn’t photograph for this series).

Final Word

If you find yourself in Gwinnett County and want to explore a coffee shop off-the-beaten-path, I highly recommend a visit to Cafe Rothem in Duluth, GA. The owner, James, is attentive and very friendly. And if you spend a little time exploring the various bookshelves, you’ll certainly discover something new or interesting along the way.

And for the book lovers of this world: if you are seeking a place filled with books where you can get away from the hustle-and-bustle of the city for a few hours and enjoy some peace with coffee (or whatever your beverage of choice), Cafe Rothem certainly delivers. What a cute and cozy coffee shop destination in the suburbs of Atlanta!

Cafe Rothem
Web | Facebook | Instagram

3585 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suite #128
Duluth, GA 30096
Google Maps link
ph: 678-878-3780

Hours of operation:
Monday-Saturday: 10AM to 10PM
Sunday: closed

Exploring Grayson Coffee House in Gwinnett County

Expanding on coffee shops located in suburban Atlanta’s Gwinnett County, today’s post profiles Grayson Coffee House in Grayson, GA.

Grayson Coffee House is located in downtown Grayson in a historic house built in the 1940s and has been a popular destination for many locals during the past four years. When I spoke with Cindy (the owner of the shop), she mentioned how there is a strong community that has developed around the coffee shop—church group members, high schoolers studying together for exams, and cycling teams are just a few examples of local devotees of this coffee shop.

Grayson Coffee House offers a selection of coffee drinks, smoothies, teas, and a nice selection of pastries/bagels/muffins on their menu. The roaster with which Grayson Coffee House is partnered is Jittery Joe’s out of Athens, GA.

Photos from my recent visit are below.

Exterior of Grayson Coffee House. Note the little birdhouse up front.

Exterior of Grayson Coffee House. Live music is typical at least once a week.

Interior of Grayson Coffee House. The tablecloths are nicely repurposed.

Life happens—coffee helps. Interior of Grayson Coffee House.

The drink menu at Grayson Coffee House—teas, coffee, and smoothies.

Drink of the month: chaider.

Interior of Grayson Coffee House.

Mugs for sale.

Inside Grayson Coffee House.

Interior of Grayson Coffee House. The bicycle was donated by a member of a cycling team which met at Grayson Coffee House regularly.

It’s coffee-o’clock.

Grayson Coffee House is partnered with Jittery Joe’s coffee (based in Athens, GA).

“Grayson is great” etched on one of the tables.

A side room inside Grayson Coffee House contains ample space for additional seating.

Books and board games for entertainment are available.

Front door of Grayson Coffee House.

As the only independent coffee shop in Grayson, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in that part of the area of Gwinnett County. Keep an eye out on the Grayson Coffee House Instagram page for specials and details of upcoming live shows.

Grayson Coffee House
Web | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

502 Grayson Pkwy
Grayson, Ga 30017
Google Maps link
ph: 770-837-3448

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday: 6AM to 8PM
Saturday: 8AM to 8PM
Sunday: closed

Coffee and Waffles at Arte 3 Cafe in Suwanee, GA

Located in a nondescript shopping mall in Suwanee, the Arte 3 Cafe is a Korean-inspired coffee shop serving coffee, tea, bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert), Korean fish-shaped pastry (bungeo-ppang), and fish bread ice cream. However, perhaps what Arte 3 is best known for are the large, fruit-topped waffles that are freshly prepared.

The Suwanee location of Arte 3 Cafe is the second one to open in Gwinnett County; the other location is located in Duluth, GA.

Photos from a recent trip to the Arte 3 Cafe in Suwanee are below. As you’ll see, the interior is spacious and inviting—two large rooms to get work done with fast Wi-Fi. If you come with a group of six or more, there are reserved, private tables which you can claim without any reservation.

Exterior of Arte 3 Cafe in Suwanee, GA.

Front counter of Arte 3 Cafe. Fish bread, waffles, shaved ice, bubble smoothies, hot tea, ice cream, and coffee are all on the menu.

Preparing customer orders at Arte 3 Cafe.

Interior of Arte 3 Cafe—lots of light from large windows and plenty of lighting.

One of the large rooms with high chairs for setting your laptops, books, etc. To the right: semi-private tables for more privacy.

Interior decorations inside Arte 3 Cafe. Live cacti are a nice touch.

Interior decor at Arte 3 Cafe.

Interior of Arte 3 Cafe—the table on the left offers plenty of natural light during the day. For larger parties (six or more), you can sit at some of the large tables (such as the one seen here in the middle of the frame in the background).

As mentioned, the waffles at Arte 3 are perhaps their most popular dessert. I asked which of the flavors was the most popular from the five options (regular, green tea, chocolate, fruit choco, walnut) and was told the regular was the most popular, which is the one I ordered. The waffle was topped with fresh kiwis, strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, and ice cream. Caramel and chocolate drizzle topped off the waffle. The waffle portion was massive, so I recommend ordering one if you are really hungry or want to share!

A regular waffle order at Arte 3. Note: this is a large waffle.

Another view of the regular waffle at Arte 3 Cafe.

Interior decor at Arte 3 Cafe.

Inside the elevated corridor at Arte 3 Cafe. Plenty of space!

Front counter at Arte 3 Cafe showing some dessert items available for purchase.

Wide-angle view of Arte 3 Cafe: the bathrooms are straight in the back, the elevated corridor is to the right of the frame.

Art at Arte3 Cafe.

Check out either of the Arte 3 locations in Gwinnett County next time you’re craving a waffle, bingsu (bingsoo), or some coffee/tea. Unfortunately, Arte 3 Cafe doesn’t appear to be active on social media, so good luck posting your #ArtWaffle or #ArteBingsu hashtagged photos on Instagram or Facebook!

Arte 3 Cafe (Suwannee Location)

1291 Old Peachtree Rd NW, Suite #206
Suwanee, GA 30024
Google Maps link
ph: 770-623-5200

Hours of operation:
Monday-Saturday: 10AM to 12AM
Sunday: 12PM to 11PM

Arte 3 Cafe (Duluth Location)

3705 Old Norcross Rd
Duluth, GA 30096
Google Maps link
ph: 770-622-3903

Hours of operation:
Monday-Saturday: 10AM to 12AM
Sunday: 12PM to 12AM

Coffee and Avocado Toast at Boulder Creek Coffee in Lawrenceville, GA

Boulder Creek Coffee in Lawrenceville is an independent coffee shop in suburban Gwinnett County, GA. This coffee shop offers a wide range of drinks and food, partners with a number of local vendors, and is located in a beautiful setting at the historic Jule Oakes House.

A few photos from a recent visit are profiled below.

The Jule Oakes House

The current location of Boulder Creek Coffee is within the Jule Oakes House (built in 1893), which is the namesake of businessman and mayor of Lawrenceville from 1949 to 1950, Jule Oakes. Prior to Boulder Creek Coffee’s relocation (from Buford, GA) to this historic home in March 2018, the Jule Oakes House served as Lawrenceville’s Visitor Center and housed the administrative offices of both the Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association and the Lawrenceville Downtown Development Authority.

This is a majestic space, and Boulder Creek Coffee occupies both floors of this house.

Front entrance of Boulder Creek Coffee at the historic Jule Oakes House at 233 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville, GA.

Side entrance of Boulder Creek Coffee at the historic Jule Oakes House at 233 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville, GA.

Drive-thru is available at Boulder Creek Coffee.

The front and side porches of the Jule Oakes House provide ample outdoor seating:

The front porch of the Jule Oakes House at Boulder Creek Coffee.

Front porch of Boulder Creek Coffee at the historic Jule Oakes House.

Looking out toward E. Crogan Street and downtown Lawrenceville, GA.

The Menu at Boulder Creek Coffee

Boulder Creek Coffee serves Counter Culture Coffee, Rishi Tea, Intelligentsia Tea, and Cabbagetown Chai. The menu is extensive, offering sandwiches and breakfast items (served all day!). Boulder Creek Coffee partners with local vendors such as Emily G’s Jam, Fussell Cake Company, Harlow’s Vegan Cupcakes, Pure Bliss Organics, and Seven Sisters Scones to offer various fresh and packaged goods inside their store.

Dessert items on display at Boulder Creek coffee.

On this particular day, I decided to try out the avocado toast. It was delicious!

Avocado toast (served all day!) at Boulder Creek Coffee in Lawrenceville, GA. The avocado toast comes with sea salt, cracked paper, and bacon.

The vastness of the Jule Oakes House means that patrons can choose to drink/eat either on the first or second floor of the Jule Oakes House—Boulder Creek Coffee was wise to set up a separate Wi-Fi for downstairs and one for the upstairs. In addition to three study/quiet rooms (such as this) on the second floor, there is a conference room upstairs which large parties can reserve by contacting Boulder Creek staff.

If you find yourself in Lawrenceville, Boulder Creek Coffee is worth a drop-by for the food, coffee, and the wonderful ambiance in the historic Jule Oakes House.


You can see more photos from Boulder Creek Coffee here and also find it on the recently updated Atlanta Coffee Shops map.

Boulder Creek Coffee
Web | Facebook | Instagram

233 East Crogan St.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Google Maps link
ph: 678-765-7985

Hours of operation:
Monday-Thursday: 6AM to 9PM
Friday: 6AM to 11PM
Saturday: 9AM to 11PM
Sunday: closed

Beans & Butter Coffee House in Lawrenceville, GA

Beans & Butter Coffeehouse is a family-owned coffee shop located in Lawrenceville, GA. This quaint shop in Gwinnett County, established in 2016, offers in-house fresh-baked breads (such as sourdough and challah), pastries, and of course, coffee.

B&B Coffeehouse sources its coffee from 1000 Faces Coffee in Athens, GA; the teas are sourced from Chicago’s Spirit Teas.

During my visit, I was especially impressed by the design elements and wall art, as you can see in the photos below. Also, it is clear that the owners of the Beans & Butter Coffeehouse are thankful for their loyal customer base.

Interior of Beans & Butter Coffeehouse. There is plenty of seating inside.

Cappuccino is served. Beans & Butter Coffeehouse sources its coffee from Athens-based 1000 Faces Coffee.

Gratitude for customers.

The front counter at Beans & Butter Coffeehouse. Note the wooden accents and fresh flowers.

The coffee menu is simple and the prices are very affordable at Beans & Butter Coffeehouse.


Interior of Beans & Butter Coffeehouse.

Beautiful decorative element on one of the walls inside Beans & Butter Coffeehouse.

If you find yourself in Gwinnett County and looking for a great cup of coffee (or tea) complemented by fresh bread/pastries (as well as excellent customer service), check out Beans & Butter Coffeehouse.

FYI: Beans & Butter Coffeehouse also offers an extensive catering menu, featuring muffins, croissants, danishes, salads, sandwiches, and more. During the summer months, you may also find Beans & Butter Coffeehouse selling some of their offerings at local markets.

Beans & Butter Coffeehouse
Web | Facebook | Instagram

River Oak Plaza
851 Oak Rd SW Suite #1,
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
Google Maps link
ph: 470-268-7430

Hours of operation:
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Friday: 6AM to 1PM
Saturday: 8AM to 3PM
Sunday: closed