New cafe with suburban roots proposed for Des Plaines train station

A cafe called Juice & Berry could replace a defunct coffee shop inside Des Plaines' downtown train station.

If the city council approves a contract with the company next week, Juice & Berry will take over the 360-square-foot space in the Miner Street station previously occupied by CRAFT Donuts + Coffee since 2019.

CRAFT's ownership announced its three shops - in Des Plaines, West Dundee and Elgin - would close permanently in February.

But CRAFT's departure from the suburban culinary scene is an opportunity for Juice & Berry, which has had a store in Roselle's Main Street train station since 2019.

"We are extremely excited to be joining the Des Plaines community," said co-owner Alex Hilton, who envisions opening the new cafe in June. "It is our hope that we can contribute to getting the pre-pandemic buzz back into the downtown area by offering a fun, healthy, superfood concept to Metra riders and local residents."

CRAFT's owners recommended Juice & Berry for the site, 3rd Ward Alderman Denise Rodd said. The quick turnaround "is a hopeful sign that small businesses can see the opportunities in downtown Des Plaines," Rodd said.

Juice & Berry's menu features cold-pressed juices, fruit-and-granola bowls, smoothies and more. Under the terms of the proposed contract with Des Plaines, it will offer at least three types of coffee drinks in the new counter-service cafe.

"Their healthy menu expands Des Plaines' diverse dining options and will certainly draw interest from our residents, commuters and our downtown businesses," City Manager Mike Bartholomew said.

The proposed five-year deal would begin May 1 and run through April 2026. Juice & Berry will pay the city a $700 monthly fee for the first year, and the fee will increase 3% each year.

CRAFT had a similar deal.

The city council is set to approve the contract when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday.

The meeting will be held remotely because of the pandemic and can be viewed at or on local cable Channel 17.

Hilton said she and her team are grateful for the reception they've received from Des Plaines officials.

"Communities with expanding downtowns that are welcoming of mom-and-pop shops like us are exactly where we want to be," Hilton said.

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