Coffee and cocktails at new Arlington Heights cafe

  • Interior renovations are underway at 12 S. Dunton Ave. in downtown Arlington Heights, where CoCo & Blu coffee bar plans to open next month.

      Interior renovations are underway at 12 S. Dunton Ave. in downtown Arlington Heights, where CoCo & Blu coffee bar plans to open next month. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

Updated 10/8/2019 8:35 AM

A coffee bar and cafe like one you might see in Europe will serve a selection of espresso, lattes, martinis and craft cocktails when it opens as early as next month in downtown Arlington Heights.

Interior renovations are underway at 12 S. Dunton Ave., where baristas at CoCo & Blu plan to make their first drink in mid-to-late November, said co-owner Michael Brown.


A necessary step in getting the doors open was securing a Class A village liquor license, which the business did at a village board meeting Monday night.

The shop plans to be open as early as 6 a.m. for commuters to pick up a coffee or croissant to go, and it will begin liquor service after 11 a.m., featuring drinks like espresso martinis, cosmopolitans and old fashioneds, along with wine and beer.

"If you've ever traveled to Europe, it's a bar -- coffee and alcohol together -- that's how they do it," Brown said.

At least to start, the business will be open only until 4 p.m., but there are plans eventually to extend hours into the evening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Brown said.

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But, he cautioned: "It's not like a big wild bar. We're not serving shots or anything like that."

Instead, Brown envisions the cafe as a place to meet friends before going out to dinner in downtown Arlington Heights.

And during the day, there will be a full menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, plus pastries, cakes and cookies to complement the coffee.

Patrons will be able to sip drinks at various locations within the 65-seat cafe, including a large blue light-up bar that was reclaimed from Pops For Champagne, a bar in downtown Chicago. There's also various couches and tables, including a community table for a dozen guests.

Brown, owner of The Eiffel Flower florist and gift shop around the corner at 11 W. Campbell St., will run the cafe with business partner Debra Wightman.

He says he got the idea after taking a trip to Europe and going to chandelier-adorned coffee shops serving espresso in fine china.

"Why do we not have this in Arlington Heights?" Brown recalls saying. "I think it's really going to be a nice addition to the downtown area."

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