A new coffee shop on the border of Roscoe Village and Bucktown offers all of the above, making it an all-day destination.
Yes, it looks and sounds like any other coffee shop: the grinding of beans for fresh espressos, the latte art, the case of pastries. But adjacent to the massive renovation project going on at the Lathrop Homes along the North Branch of the Chicago River, the Hexe Coffee Company is doing quite a bit more than just brewing coffee.
"Coffee shop, bar, bakery, roastery, cold brewery," said Parker Slade, the owner.
EXTRA COURSE: Vegan-friendly desserts at Hexe Coffee Company
He's most proud of his micro-roaster. Getting the beans in green, he literally scoops them out of their burlap sacks, weighs them and then dumps them into his roaster, where they transform from green to a deep, dark brown, filling the entire space with the smell of coffee beans.
"Any downtime I have, I'm able to jump on the machine. Put out what needs to go out. Keep an eye on everything really close," he said.
They naturally end up in cups, either as cold brew, lattes or even Irish coffees, with sugar, cream and nutmeg - a great way to battle the cold. And the large kitchen in back allows them to get even more creative.
"We came across the space, we noticed we had the room to put a bakery in; it wasn't really part of my big plan. But when I met with Dina and the other we decided we'd go for it," said Slade.
Which is a good thing, because her galettes - like this one with kale, white beans, carmelized onions and gruyere - or her cookies, breakfast stratas and corn puddings are all worth the splurge. On weekends, you'll find blackberry brioche cheese Danish; maybe a skull-shaped chocolate cake doused in bone shaker bourbon coffee glaze, which gets an assist from the beer program, yet another source of creativity.
"We get to make all of our own decisions, so if we have an idea we can try it out. If it doesn't work we scrap it and onto the next thing," he said.
So a lot more than just lattes here at Hexe. You've got beer on tap, plus the cocktails, plus the sweets and the savories which means you could just make a whole night of it.
Hexe Coffee Co.
2000 W. Diversey Pkwy