A new coffee shop is coming to North Beverly—at the site of a former coffee shop that closed last summer.
Bridgeport Coffee, which has three locations on the South Side, is moving in at 9135 S. Western Ave., according to President/Co-founder Mike Pilkington; he hopes to open by the first week of December.
That location was the site of Hardboiled Coffee Company, which closed in July after two and a half years in business.
Pilkington looked into opening in the area about three years ago, he said, but it didn’t work out. This time, he said, things fell into place.
Caroline Connors, executive director of the Beverly Hills Morgan Park Business Association, and the O’Neill Family, Beverly residents who own the building, confirmed the deal.
“We were always interested in Beverly,” Pilkington said. “We always thought it was a fit for our company but didn’t really look around until this year.”
Bridgeport Coffee, Pilkington said, opened its Bridgeport location in 2004, and he then looked into opening in Beverly. When that didn’t work out, he said, he opened in Hyde Park in 2013; a few months later, he opened in the South Loop.
The new business will also occupy 9137 S. Western Ave., Pilkington said. That area will include a 40-foot-by-10-foot community table made from wood from buildings around Chicago.
Pilkington said it will be “very apparent” that the business is a “farm to cup company” that uses fresh ingredients.
He believes Bridgeport Coffee can build a relationship with the community.
“I think there’s a lot of commonality between Bridgeport and Beverly,” Pilkington said. “We almost seem like sister communities. We should have a real good shot at connecting with the people who live there.”
Pilkington, he said, likes that the location is on a busy street like Western Avenue. He will also provide a parking lot with 18 spaces to the north of his business, he said, and he hopes to open an outdoor area behind the shop next year.
“It seems like that backyard is kind of quiet and could really be made into something special for outdoor seating,” said Pilkington, who lives in Lemont after several years in Bridgeport.
Pilkington said that while exploring the Beverly neighborhood for potential sites he was unaware that Hardboiled Coffee had operated at the location. Upon exploring the layout of the building, however, he realized it provided several features he needs.
One aspect that will help in opening the new location, he said, is that his company is no longer a start-up business, but an established entity. His firm grew from 13 to 33 employees in a six-month span.
The company’s solid foundation encouraged him to sign a long-term lease, instead of just a two-year contract.
“We intend to be there for a very long time,” Pilkington said. “If we aren’t immediately successful, then we have the support of the company behind us.”
Bridgeport Coffee will also offer pastries, including donuts, scones, muffins and cookies. Coffee will be available to go in retail packs, he said, but he will not conduct wholesale business.
Before opening Bridgeport Coffee, Pilkington worked in the hospitality industry for several years, he said, including as a busboy and waiter.
As a result of his success of his other locations, Pilkington understands the difficulties involved in starting a new place.
“There’s no guarantee,” Pilkington said. “There never is.”
Bridgeport Coffee will be open seven days a week: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.