I settled in with Tina Harle in the recently opened Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea located at 702 Lake Street in downtown Oak Park. As Harle sipped on her Collectivo Nitro and savored a breakfast sandwich, I sipped a heart-topped latte and nibbled on avocado toast toped with tomato and radish. Harle has several local coffee shops she claims as her regular haunts but was undeniably excited about Fairgrounds opening an Oak Park Location.

“I have been to their locations in the city and fell in love with their food, different coffee selections and their bright, hip, and welcoming vibe;” says Harle enthusiastically as she juggled her infant daughter, “I was very excited to hear about the Oak Park location!”

Our local coffee maven notes the Oak Park location is true to Fairgrounds “wonderful brand” and especially appreciates the café’s late hours, large space and expansive patio. Unlike coffee shops that shut down in the early afternoon, Fairgrounds stays open until 8pm daily making it an ideal spot to grab a quick bite with friends or get some work done in the evening.

Fairgrounds supports an array of coffee roasters on their menu. The shop serves up a rotating selection of nitro coffee on draft and espresso. Metric, Dark Matter, and Collectivo were available during our visit and could be enjoyed in a specific drink or as part of a tasting flight. Draft teas, matcha shots and elixirs round out the beverage menu.

Fairgrounds has been very busy since opening day; at times lines have gone out the door and there have been a few hiccups, however, Harle notes the staff is friendly, helpful and makes every effort to get food and drinks out quickly and accurately.

”I will still be regularly at the other local coffeeshops,” says Harle, “but Fairgrounds’, with their later hours, diverse food options, nitro coffee and large patio, bring what was missing in the Oak Park coffee scene all in one place.”

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