BRIDGEPORT — Locally sourced donuts, cream puffs, gourmet coffee and herbal teas have helped make the newly opened Jackalope Coffee and Tea House a local favorite.
Beginning Wednesday, owners January Overton and John Almonte are adding a new feature to their colorful coffee shop at 755 W. 32nd St., near Halsted Street: a lunch menu, complete with sandwiches named after mythical creatures.
“I thought we could use some something like this on [the east] side of Halsted,” said Overton, 36, a Bridgeport native.
She’s referring the nearby stretch of Halsted Street, which has a handful of ethnic restaurants and the acclaimed higher-end Nana but not that many options for a quick, fuss-free sandwich.
Six sandwiches — made with fresh Bridgeport Bakery bread — as well as soups and salads will be on the menu. The sandwiches, served panini-style in a variety of classic and vegetarian offerings, will be named after mythical creatures like the Imp, the Centaur, the Bigfoot, the Unicorn and, of course, the Jackalope with bacon, goat cheese, tomatoes and fig jam.
For Overton, who works full-time in marketing at Groupon and Almonte, a carpenter, the addition of lunch service is just one more step toward success for their dream coffee shop, which opened Sept. 21 and has quickly established itself as a neighborhood favorite, drawing coffee house crowds and cops from the Chicago Police Department’s nearby Ninth District station.
Already, it's earned high praise for serving Metropolis coffee, Puffs of Doom from Pilsen and the quick-selling maple bacon donuts from the Bridgeport Bakery. They’ve got plans to expand the seating area, make some interior tweaks and start a farmers’ market outside the store.
Seated in the cafe and surrounded by local art, Overton said she was tired of traveling to the North Side to find a cool place to linger.
“We could finally use something like this here," she said.