Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea aims to put the bar in coffee bar.
The Chicago-based café has added a North Loop coffee shop with dozens of curated and customizable beverage options stretching a laundry list of roasters, flavors and ingredients.
Owner Michael Schultz opened the café July 14 along 3rd Avenue North in the renovated Porter Electric Warehouse, one of two properties in the neighborhood that are being renovated into office and commercial spaces by St. Louis Park-based Paster Properties and Minneapolis-based Urban Anthology.
The drink menu features an espresso and matcha bar (double shots start at $2.79), a brew bar menu ($2.99–$4.79) featuring cold brew and nitro cold brew from a rotating list of roasters and organic whole leaf tea ($3.79–$3.99). Traditional espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes can be made with a variety of espressos ($3.19–$3.99). Kombucha, sparkling teas and flights of many beverages are available.
Fairgrounds gives beverages a cocktail-style treatment with hot and cold “elixirs,” or combinations of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and more, from the Rainforest Remedy ($6.99) with matcha green tea, frozen pineapple and coconut milk to the Vosges Coconut Charcoal Elixir ($5.69) with charcoal, 100 percent cacao chocolate, coconut puree and coconut water.
The café offers menus for breakfast items like bagels, bowls and breakfast sandwiches ($3.49–$11.99, served all day), lunch options like sandwiches, salads and wraps ($9.49–$9.99) and “bites,” or toasts, soups and snacks like funnel cake fries ($5.99–$8.99).
The café’s interior features several table tops, leather lounge furniture and even swinging bar seats. Its retail section features coffee beans from many popular national coffee roasters and several Midwestern companies, including Verve Coffee Roasters of Santa Cruz, Minneapolis-based Spyhouse Coffee Roasters, Chicago-based Metropolis Coffee Co., Stumptown Coffee Roasters of Portland, Colectivo Coffee of Milwaukee and Passion House Coffee Roasters of Chicago. Fairgrounds carries coffee brewing equipment, kettles and filters.
The café at 116 N. 3rd Ave. is open 6 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m. weekends.