Church cafe postpones renovations after change in contractors


Photo by Sofia Totten

Renovations to transform the historic Alexander House at 22 N. College Ave. to a Christian coffee house have been delayed by problems locating a general contractor, church officials say.

By Sofia Totten

The conversion of the Alexander House into a church-operated coffee house is delayed until a new contractor is found.

Last year, RedLife, an extension of Calvary Church in Springfield, Ohio, bought the Alexander House at 22 N. College Ave. with the aim of creating a coffee shop and worship space to help connect churchgoers.

“We saw an opportunity to add value through the facility itself,” Ellis said. “The coffee shop, to us, is an opportunity to add value by providing a place for the community and the students to have a place of connection.”

The church hoped to have the RedLife Coffee House open this year, but the church had to split ways with the general contractor of the project. The church is looking for a general contractor that is a better fit for the project. RedLife is still working on the exterior of the Alexander House but a majority of the interior renovations have been postponed.

Ellis said he hopes the RedLife Coffee House will provide a space for the Oxford community to connect and learn more about Christianity. As for the location, Ellis said church members fell in love with Oxford after working in campus ministry and its availability.

Miami University student Keidward Pichardo Lora is youth president of his local church, Iglesia Cristiana Fortaleciendo la Fe in Hamilton. He said he is looking forward to the opening of the RedLife Coffee House. 

“As a youth president, I pushed for interactions and collaboration within youth groups,” he said. “A church coffee shop would allow people to comfortably discuss Christianity in a casual environment.”

Calvary Church pastor Tom Ellis said the church hopes to open the RedLife Coffee House by the end of spring 2023.