River North Bow Truss Coffee Eyes Thursday Opening

By Lizzie Schiffman Tufano on February 5, 2013 7:30am 

RIVER NORTH — Bow Truss Coffee Company will open its second location at 406 N. Wells St. Thursday, but owner Phil Tadros won't be offended if you don't sit and stay a while.

While the storefront shop does include 14 seats, the bean-roasting mogul says he'll be content if he only sees neighbors once a week to refill their at-home bean supplies — though that may be unlikely as the surrounding neighborhoods prepare for an influx of new residents.

"We just want to make it easy for people to get a good cup of coffee, and get educated on coffee," Tadros said. "I think it's really important that people make a cup of coffee at home. You may have a second cup of coffee [at Bow Truss] or this might be your first cup of the day, but I think people should have a nice pour over set at home and come here to buy their beans."

To that end, he plans to host a full roster of classes at the new location, with staff experts teaching "everything from espresso to roasting to tea history" classes, said Talya Strader, the company's retail manager, who hopes to have a calendar packed with mini-courses on the River North shop's website by March 1.

Tadros has been eyeing the storefront, seated right below the stairs of the Merchandise Mart brown line "L" stop, for over a year.

He said he was negotiating this lease even before the Lakeview Bow Truss and roastery opened, and was energized by property owner Susan Frasca's excitement that the shop will complement a wine store she hopes to open next door.

As a Gold Coast resident, Tadros said he's been eagerly awaiting the Wells Street store's opening for selfish reasons, too.

"I like the idea of being able to come here in the morning," he said. "It's really hard to get a good cup of coffee right here. You can go inside the Merch [Mart] and there's a Starbucks and an Argo [Tea], and there's an Intelligentsia on the 12th floor, but there's really nothing right here at this intersection."

DNAinfo.com Chicago got a sneak peek at the new coffee shop while Tadros and Strader worked on the finishing touches. Highlights include eclectic furniture from Tadros' own antique collection, like a commercial grade mixer and wooden toboggan converted into tables and counter space, and a vintage cash register from Tadros' own home.

Much like the Lakeview location, the industrial space is freshened with splashy pop art; in this case, that includes a giant chalkboard wall and a floor-to-ceiling painting of a superhero.

Soon, artist Floyd of Artpentry will help create a sound system comprised of a fishnet full of functional speakers above the counter.

"We're just some final touches away from opening," Tadros said. "I think we'll fit in fine in this neighborhood. ... Everybody seems very excited and positive and supportive. We're doing a good thing, and people will appreciate it."

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