Allegro Coffee opens its newest craft coffee shop and roastery in Chicago
With a nod to its diverse and growing coffee scene, Allegro Coffee Company chose Chicago, Illinois, as the newest market for its Allegro Coffee Roasters Craft Coffee Shop and Roastery.
Allegro launched the ACR concept in 2014 as a craft coffee experience inside Whole Foods Market (which purchased Allegro Coffee Company in 1997), connecting guests with seasoned baristas and microlot coffees roasted in-house. Allegro then opened craft coffee shops and roasteries to provide an open, educational environment and to foster passion and community for curious coffee drinkers. ACR’s four roasteries and shops, where consumers can purchase freshly roasted Allegro coffees and interact with coffee experts, are located in Berkeley, California; Brooklyn, New York; Boulder, Colorado; and Denver, Colorado. The fifth opened 22 March in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood at 3201 N Ashland Avenue.
“ACR gives us a place to play, experiment, and engage with the coffee community on the industry level as well as connect with our local community,” explains Christy Thorns, director of sourcing at Allegro Coffee Company, based in Denver, Colorado. “Opening another ACR location in Chicago gives us more opportunity to take the Allegro experience to a new market, and a vibrant neighborhood of coffee lovers.”
Twelve unique microlot coffees are roasted in small batches within sight of the coffee bar in a gas-fired Loring drum roaster. Loring roasters work with a hybrid combination of hot air and gas, reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent. After roasting, beans are nitrogen-packed and hand labelled for retail or head to the bar for espresso, batch brew and pour over. Mahlkonig grinders work in conjunction with a custom La Marzocco Strada 3 Group machine for each shot of espresso.
Pour-over coffee is brewed at the ModBar and nitro cold brew coffee and select beers are available on tap. Finally, for tea drinkers, a curated selection of loose leaf tea is brewed in a state of the art BKON craft brewer that uses vacuum technology to steep and infuse a curated selection of teas. ACR Lakeview will serve small bites, pastries, and grab-and-go snacks sourced from local favorite, West Town Bakery. The design is clean and simple, with décor that pays respect to long-gone music icon Rose Records by way of a large-scale mural behind the bar.
Every ACR location roasts a signature espresso named for its neighborhood; ACR Lakeview’s signature espresso, High Fidelity, is named after Chicago’s rich musical heritage.