The plan was simple: source great green coffee, roast daily, and serve extraordinary espresso drinks, brewed coffee, and tea. Newlyweds Doug Zell and Emily Mange had worked long hours planning and building their store. They had a 12-kilo Probat Roaster, a few 150lb sacks of green beans, and a steely determination to bring quality, fresh-roasted coffee to Chicago. There were a few complaints (a customer threatened to send them a dry cleaning bill when the exhaust from the roaster accidentally created a very smoky atmosphere), but people from the Lakeview neighborhood soon began to notice the comfortable atmosphere and fantastic drinks.
The neighborhood has changed quite a bit since Intelligentsia first opened its doors back in 1995, but 3123 North Broadway Street will always hold a special place in our hearts. Customers travel from all over Chicagoland to take in the unique ambience that this store has acquired over time, much like fine wine, gracefully aging in its old oak barrel.
Opened: October 9th, 1995
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