Drip Collective opened in February, but it feels like it’s been part of the West Loop for years. The café has been drawing creative types from the start with its innovative lattes, but that’s only part of the allure: The space also serves as an incubator for Filipino and Black artisans.

It’s the second such venture for Francis Almeda, an artist and serial entrepreneur who opened Side Practice Coffee in Lincoln Square in 2020 partly as a way for friends and family to show off their side hustles. Similarly, he tapped interior designer Jacob Polhill for Drip Collective’s stadium-style seating and DJ booth and Justin Rodriguez, an artist and streetwear designer who happens to be Almeda’s cousin, for its vivid prints of fingers making the peace sign. Almeda relishes his role as creative champion: “You have an idea, you reach out to Francis and his 1,000-email inbox,” he says.

Co-owner Ty Banks, a local coffee darling, offers pour-overs and espressos and brings a mixology-like approach to his signature drinks. For the Turon, a latte that mimics the flavor of the sweet Filipino spring roll, he soaks bananas overnight in cinnamon-infused milk, then adds molasses and either matcha or espresso.

On the food menu: mini breakfast pizzas by Novel Pizza. It’s another side gig for Almeda, who has tinkered with Filipino- and Mexican-inspired pizza recipes for years with another cousin and a friend. They are fine-tuning them as they await the opening of their tavern in Pilsen. “We’re not trying to take over the pizza world,” Almeda says. “But me being who I am, I just can’t wait to start something new.” 172 N. Racine Ave.