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Article updated: 2/6/2014 6:25 PM

Blue Box Cafe will take spot of old Ravenheart Coffee

Blue Box Cafe is slated to open the week of Feb. 17 at 176 E. Chicago St. in Elgin, in the space formerly occupied by Ravenheart Coffee, said owner Chris Mau of Elgin.

Blue Box Cafe is slated to open the week of Feb. 17 at 176 E. Chicago St. in Elgin, in the space formerly occupied by Ravenheart Coffee, said owner Chris Mau of Elgin.

 

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

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A new coffee and sandwich shop is coming to downtown Elgin, and it is moving into the spot that once housed the Ravenheart Coffee that closed in November.

Blue Box Cafe at 176 E. Chicago St. is slated to open the week of Feb. 17, said owner Chris Mau, who currently works a block away as manager of the Elgin Public House.

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The menu will include coffee, espresso, deli sandwiches and fresh bakery items, Mau said, and he also plans to offer catering services.

Mau, of Elgin, said he previously owned a Quiznos franchise and two deli sandwich shops in suburban office buildings, but this will be his first business in Elgin, he said.

Downtown Elgin needs a deli sandwich shop, Mau said, adding he was a customer of Ravenheart Coffee.

"Quiznos closed, In the Neighborhood Deli is on other side of the river, and Al's is more upscale," Mau said. "I think there is a place for a coffee place where people can hang out and get sandwiches."

Domani Cafe is also in downtown Elgin.

Blue Box Cafe likely will have two or three part-time employees, Mau said.

Mau painted and made some decorative changes, but the 1,300-square-foot space mostly was ready to go, building owner Jerri McCue said. Mau signed the lease in mid-January, she added.

"When we developed the property, I think we did a good job of setting up for someone to come in who wanted to run a business like a coffee shop," she said.

The building dates back to the 1960s, and it used to be Elgin Federal Savings Bank, she said.

In early January, the Elgin liquor control commission turned down a preliminary proposal to open Java Jills, a cafe featuring alcohol and video gambling, at that location.

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