Things have been quiet for the last year on the idea of establishing a community owned coffee shop in northeast Oak Park, but one thing is for sure – it won’t be located at 130 Chicago Ave.
That’s because the property was recently purchased for a different business. Theresa Jurgus, a broker associate with Baird & Warner who managed the deal, declined to discuss the plans for the location, which previously was Zephyr Cleaners, but she did say it was not likely to be a dry cleaner business in the future.
She did note that it is under local ownership and “someone capable of doing a great job with this property.”
The property was being watched closely by Oak Park Village Trustee Deno Andrews, who put out a call last year to northeast Oak Parkers interested in establishing a co-op-style community funded business.
He estimated it would cost about $700,000 to get the venture off the ground. In August of 2017, Andrews had more than 220 people who had committed to contribute approximately $325,600 toward the venture.
“As a fractional owner, you would not be required to do any work, but you would have voting rights,” Andrews wrote last year. “There would be a board of directors, freely elected each year by owners, to oversee policy and operations, and profit distribution.”
Andrews, who is the former owner of Felony Franks restaurant on North Avenue – that business closed up shop about a year ago – said in a recent interview that the community café concept is “very much alive”.
“I don’t want it to fail, so I’m not just going to jump on the wrong space,” he said.