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Colectivo Coffee Roasters Will Make Its Chicago Debut This Fall

The Milwaukee-based café chainlet has a space secured in Lincoln Park.

Coffee at Colectivo Coffee Roasters   Photo: Kelly Anderson

Longtime Milwaukee coffee roaster and café-bakery Colectivo Coffee Roasters (2530 N. Clark St., no phone yet) will unveil its first Illinois location in Lincoln Park this October. Opening in a former Einstein Bagels, the 87-seat Colectivo will offer hand-roasted coffees and artisanal baked products.

“We want to present a very complete experience that goes from coffee to bakery to a very hand-crafted environment,” says co-founder Lincoln Fowler, who owns Colectivo with his brother Ward Fowler and partner Paul Miller. “We are artisan all the way through, from the creation of the coffee to the fabrication of the custom steel doors.”

On the drink side, Fowler promises “fun for coffee geeks,” with coffee sourced from 17-plus origins and brewed hot, cold, and nitro-infused. Colectivo’s signature session-roasted coffees—lightly roasted to develop the beans’ innate sweetness—will be in regular rotation.

The café also promises espresso-based beverages, Letterbox Fine Teas, and Colectivo Keg Co. beer. Colectivo’s wholesale bakery arm, Troubadour Bakery and Catering, will supply the from-scratch breads and pastries, which will be baked and delivered daily from the Milwaukee facility to Chicago.

The team will extensively renovate the existing, 1,200-square-foot space in collaboration with Kubala Washatko Architects. The parking lot will be converted into a 900-square-foot indoor/outdoor garden room with skylights and roll-up glass garage doors. Fronting the garden room, a pocket park will have custom furniture and seating for 60, new landscaping, and an outdoor fire pit.

The 23-year-old Colectivo, formerly known as Alterra Coffee, has 16 locations across Wisconsin, but the founders have been eyeing a possible Windy City location for years, Fowler says.

“What attracted us to this spot is we feel that we understand Lincoln Park,” he says. And where better to give Chicagoans a taste of Milwaukee than the north-side nabe by the lake?

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