Benjamin Fawks from Rozz-Tox: Challenging the norm

Person: Benjamin Fawks, owner

Place: Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Avenue, Rock Island,). The building is a café, bar, performance venue, library, and small hostel.

As of writing, Rozz-Tox is open Tuesday - Friday 5:00 pm - 1:00am, Saturday 11:00am - 1:00am, and Sunday 11:00am - 11:00pm (closed Monday).

 Benjamin with his late mother inside Rozz-Tox.

Benjamin with his late mother inside Rozz-Tox.

From the outside one might not understand what Rozz-Tox is exactly. You see a mannequin staring out of the window at you in a seductive manner.   

Rozz-Tox in Rock Island is just that: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.  It isn’t just an ordinary community space. The establishment is a café, bar, performance venue, library and small hostel. The space was started in Rock Island with the help of Benjamin’s loving mother, may she rest in peace, when he returned from China. Benjamin learned to run a community space during his time in China, where he ran a similar establishment.  

The space houses a number of events, ranging from music, film, visual arts and literature. It is a unique setting, as Benjamin explains, “the programming is carefully selected and thought out, with best interests for curious minds.”

 One of Splash's latest products! I could definitely use some of this.

It is a place that invites creativity and community to come together to coexist. You can enjoy a coffee during the day while someone reads poetry, then later that same night see a short horror film or a classic house show.

When asked about the community, Benjamin says, “What I love most is that the Rozz-Tox community is literally an international one, and I love that Rock Island is a hub. I love the people Rozz-Tox attracts”.   

As far as unique places go, Rozz-Tox is one of those that has become its own entity. A haven for all to come express their ideas and share their art in a comfortable and safe environment that is always welcoming. Challenging the norm for curious minds.  

Thanks, Benjamin! Check out Rozz-Tox on Facebook.

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