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.
Answer Book 2019
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