Lavazza selling or closing Chicago coffee shops
Lavazza, the Italian coffee company founded in 1895, is selling or closing its Chicago coffee shops, according to people familiar with the matter.
The location in the Chicago French Market inside the Ogilvie Transportation Center closed last month, according to Marian Jarocki, a leasing agent at U.S. Equities Realty, which co-developed the market.
A location in Streeterville at 162 E. Ohio St. and another in the Loop at 111 W. Jackson St. have been sold to a businessman named Yukel Karatas, according to managers at both stores. Both locations plan to remain open without major operational changes.
A fourth location, at 27 W. Washington in the Loop, remains corporately owned. A store manager, Cassandra Miller, said the store has no plans to close.
Jarocki said the French Market “is going to fill that void.”
According to a Lavazza employee, the French Market location was not profitable and closed when its lease ended.
“It was a specialty coffee shop surrounded by specialty food (vendors),” said Austin Cornett, who manages the Streeterville Lavazza store. Customers preferred to buy coffee along with their food rather than make two stops, he said. The market’s location inside the train station also meant that it “was very busy for two hours each day and then would have only a couple of customers an hour outside of rush hour,” Cornett added.
Elsewhere in the market, Black Dog Gelato will open by the end of February, Jarocki said. It will be the third location for the gourmet gelato company founded by Chicagoan Jessica Oloroso in 2010.
French Market vendors sign three-year leases.
“There will always be movement,” Jarocki said. She said she has two French Market vacancies and 30 vendors.
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