There's a curious expansion project afoot in Chicago, as neighborhood news blog DNA Info broke the news that Caffe Streets will take over two coffee service kiosks along the Chicago Transit Attorney's Blue Line train.
Long regarded as one of the best poly-roaster cafes in Chicago, the original Wicker Park location of Caffe Streets will be joined by two new locations at the iconic California and Damen “L” train stops, under the name ‘Cafe Transit'.
Cafe Transit signed a 10-year-lease through 2023 for an 80 square-foot space inside the Damen “L ” at 1558 N. Damen Ave. in Wicker Park and a 199 square-foot space inside the California Blue Line “L” Stop at 2211 N. California Ave. in Logan Square, the CTA announced Wednesday.
Cafe Transit is a joint venture run by Arandjelovic and partners Brent Norsman, an architect and owner of Copenhagen Cycles, and Kevin Heisner, who owns Bangars & Lace and The Anthem. “The CTA liked the idea we were all local [and] already own businesses in Wicker Park,” Arandjelovic said.
Another local business owner, Tim Gillengerten — owner of Transit Trees, which specializes in CTA-themed shirts and messenger bags — will be doing the branding for the new cafe, Arandjelovic said…Calling the Damen space “an 80 square-feet challenge,” Arandjelovic said he hopes Cafe Transit can be open by the summer.
The DNA Info feature casually mentions that the coffees at Cafe Transit will be roasted by a new operation called Metric Coffee Roasters. The following two sentences are literally the only information available on the internet about Metric:
The coffee served at Cafe Transit will come from Metric Coffee Roasters, a nascent separate venture in the works between Arandjelovic and a private partner.
Metric Coffee Roasters will be a “fully new wholesale coffee roasting company ” that will roast coffee beans locally, using a refurbished 1961 roaster from Germany, Arandjelovic said.
Does this mean Caffe Streets will be ditching the multiroaster model in exchange for exclusivity for their own brand? According to a representative we spoke with earlier today, the answer is “no”; Caffe Streets will serve its own Metric alongside its current roster of top specialty coffees, including Heart Coffee Roasters, Handsome, and Intelligentsia.
Watch for more Metric Coffee Roasters / Cafe Transit coverage on Sprudge as it arrives.