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Cantu's Berrista Reopening Tuesday Following Chef's Death

By Patty Wetli | April 20, 2015 2:13pm
 Homaro Cantu's Berrista opened in December, serving up miracle berries and steampunk coffee.
Berrista Grand Opening
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OLD IRVING PARK — Berrista Coffee, the Old Irving Park cafe owned by the late Homaro Cantu, will reopen Tuesday for the first time following the chef's death last week.

The return to business was announced Sunday on the coffee shop's Facebook page.

Cantu, whose funeral was held over the weekend, was found dead last April 14 at Crooked Fork, the brewery he was planning to open on the Northwest Side. His death was ruled a suicide.

Berrista, 4219 W. Irving Park Road, opened in December 2014.

The cafe marked Cantu's first venture in his own Old Irving Park neighborhood, a move greatly appreciated by residents.

"When you have someone of Homaro's stature open a business here, it shows you can bring an upscale concept to this neighborhood," long-time resident Gerta Sorensen said at the cafe's soft opening last winter.

She was one of nearly 1,000 people who turned out for Berrista's friends and family preview.

"That was a little crazy," Cantu told DNAinfo at the time.

Cantu had to push the coffee shop's public debut back several days after literally being eaten out of business during the preview.

Intended as a more accessible version of Cantu's experimental Fulton Market restaurants — Moto and the now-shuttered iNG — Berrista was also another outlet for the chef's "miracle berry" creations, which make sour foods taste sweet.

Cantu envisioned miracle-berry-tablet-popping customers chowing on doughnuts that have the same sugary appeal as Dunkin's — with none of the sugar.

"The future of food is healthy junk food," said the innovative chef.

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