New coffee shop opens in a former fire station in Shawnee

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After Courtney Nelson and her husband, John Nelson, became “empty nesters,” they picked up a new pastime — going out to grab coffee every morning.

In doing so, Nelson said, they learned a lot about the unique story behind each local coffee shop. So the two of them, along with her sister-in-law, Betsy Merckens, set out to create their own.

This, in part, drew the inspiration for a new use for a vacant building on their roughly five-acre property in Shawnee. That tiny building is now Station 3, Shawnee’s newest locally-owned coffee shop.

The shop opened earlier this month, and so far, Nelson said it’s been a warm welcome.

Station 3 operates at 19115 Midland Drive

  • Station 3 operates out of a former volunteer fire station, to which the name serves as a nod.
  • That fire station operated from the 1970s to the early 1980s, until the property was sold.
  • The Nelsons also own Twin Mill Farm — the horse stables that operate next to Station 3.
  • Station 3 is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.
Shawnee Station 3
Photo credit Lucie Krisman.

Station 3 serves up coffee in a cozy environment

Station 3 serves a range of coffee drinks, from espresso to lattes and Americanos. All syrups and chai are also made in house.

Station 3 sources its coffee beans from Liberty-based Hammerhand Coffee, as well as serving pastries and breakfast burritos from North Kansas City-based Scratch KC.

The coffee shop’s small space has roughly 20 seats, which Nelson said lends itself to a cozy vibe. But with a spacious patio and proximity to Streamway Park down the road, she said, the outdoor component is where Station 3 really shines.

“The outdoor space, I feel like that’s what’s really kind of unique,” she said. “That’s another reason we always thought something would do well here, you’ve got all the people that are enjoying the outdoors.”

The shop is covered in nature-inspired art

In addition to coffee, Station 3 is characterized by its distinct look.

Nelson and her family are “art lovers,” she said — so when Prairie Village-based artist Jeremy Collins reached out in hopes of creating an art project out of the space, they were receptive.

Collins’ murals cover the interior and exterior walls. When customers drive up, the first view is of large sunflowers painted across the west side of the building and a Grand Canyon scene on the south side.

A mural of Mill Creek and Little Mill Creek wraps around one interior side, and a depiction of the California mountains — a nod to her son, as he and Collins both enjoy climbing — covers the other.

So far, coffee and nature alike have been a draw for people as they walk or bike by. That’s what Nelson said has been the most exciting part so far.

“I think it’s just meeting the people,” she said. “It’s become a little bit of a community gathering place.”

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About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.