BRIDGEPORT — Consistently ranked as one of the city’s favorite coffee shops and roasters, the Bridgeport Coffee Company has been a neighborhood hub for years.
Now the business is expanding to the South Loop.
"We knew we had it going on … a good vibe with great coffee. So we were like ‘OK, let’s start looking for a second location,'" said Mike Pilkington, who presides over the shop at 3101 S. Morgan St. and the roastery, located at 34th Street and Ashland Avenue.
The new restaurant could open as soon as September in the Roosevelt Collection, the mammoth 1.3 million-square-foot mixed-use development at Clark Street and Roosevelt Road.
The coffee shop's second outpost will have a small handful of interior tables, most of which will be built by MP Custom Made, a woodworking shop in the Bubbly Dynamic sustainable manufacturing building.
The majority of the seating will be in an outside patio, with room for about 50 patrons.
The shop will offer a full range of coffee and specialty drinks, as well as grab-and-go sandwiches and cheese plates.
For Pilkington, the expansion is the next logical step in a series of accomplishments that can be summed up thusly: open shop, import and roast responsibly traded coffee beans, sell to more than 80 city and suburban outlets and gain a loyal following along the way.
A 2011 Time Out Chicago award naming the shop as best in the city was an affirmation that sent Pilkington looking for a space to expand.
The search took him to several spots — all on the South Side, south of Roosevelt Road — but developers lured him to the Roosevelt Collection, which is set up like condos surrounding a public square filled with businesses, including the Showplace Icon movie theater.
The development also includes an H & M clothing store. Other future tenants will include a Mexican restaurant and an American-style pub, Pilkington said.