A year-old coffee shop in downtown Glencoe has been packing in the regulars for its mix of creative dishes with a side of local personality.
The locals come from all over the North Shore, pretty much all day long. Don't expect a late-morning lull, because at Hometown Coffee and Juice, the day is filled with donuts, smoothie bowls, sandwiches and coffee. Lots of coffee.
EXTRA COURSE: Cookies and a pair of donuts at Hometown Coffee and Juice
Owner Lou Rubin and his wife opened just over a year ago, with the plan being to offer something for everyone, at all hours.
"You come in the morning for coffee, in the afternoon get a smoothie bowl or a salad, and at the end of the day get a pastry or, there's always something for anytime of the day," said Rubin.
The insulated, heated igloos out front are perfect for a meal or maybe fondue after dark.
The menu is designed with a slightly healthier approach. In the morning, a smoothie bowl is a good bet. A banana is blended with frozen blueberries and strawberries, plus almond milk and almond butter. Once that's blended, it serves as a base for fresh slices of banana, strawberry and a cup of granola, all of which gets drizzled with honey.
About a half-dozen salads are offered, including the Harvest Kale - containing plenty of quinoa, sweet potato and pumpkin seeds, but also open-faced toasts like almond butter and green apples drizzled with honey-cinnamon, scattered with pecans.
The Garden Caprese contains fresh mozzarella, avocado, tomato and basil, while the Avo & Lox has a base of smashed avocado topped with cukes, tomato and smoked salmon. There are plenty of sandwiches, plus a few bagel melts, like Rubin's Reuben with turkey, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing slaw.
Rubin said he's not completely surprised at the response, considering how few locally-owned neighborhood gathering places there are.
"People want a local experience. We live in the community, we wanted to focus deeply on the customer experience and community - those are the two things we really focus on a lot - and you can see the result; it's really been incredible," he said.
With a full breakfast menu in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and then a bar at night, plus a special menu in the igloos out front Hometown really is an all-day dining destination on the North Shore.
Hometown Coffee & Juice
700 Vernon Ave., Glencoe