Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea expanding at Bell Works in Hoffman Estates

Fairgrounds Craft Coffee and Tea will expand its presence at the Bell Works Chicagoland “metroburb” in Hoffman Estates when its 5,743-square-foot Fairgrounds World's Fair opens this fall.

Fairgrounds was among the first businesses to open in the former AT&T office complex, initially operating out of a kiosk in the 60,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the ground floor. From the very start, it expressed plans to grow.

The World's Fair cafe concept was inspired by Chicago's hosting of the World's Fairs of 1893 and 1933, representatives said. It began construction last month.

The cafe will feature 137 seats indoors, with an outdoor patio holding another 45 seats. There will be a full-service kitchen along with seasonally-inspired food and bakery options, a cocktail bar serving beer and wine on tap, grab-and-go options as well as Fairgrounds' selection of craft coffee and tea varieties from around the world.

The cafe's turn-of-the century look is by Barker/Nestor Architecture and Design. Other features will include foosball and other games, and great use of natural light.

Michael Shultz, founder and CEO of Fairgrounds' operator Infuse Hospitality, said Bell Works Chicagoland was an “obvious choice” for the company.

“The metroburb offers an abundance of opportunities for our brand, including the ability to provide our customers with a thoughtfully curated list of goods that expands upon Fairgrounds' existing menu of hyperlocal offerings,” he said.

Ralph Zucker, president of Inspired by Somerset Development, which is developing Bell Works Chicagoland, said the expansion of Fairgrounds is a major step for the project.

“The spirit of innovation is one of the core tenets at Bell Works Chicagoland, and that is becoming increasingly evident as well-established brands such as Fairgrounds are choosing the metroburb as a place to launch new concepts and expand their range of offerings,” Zucker said. “Our vision for Bell Works Chicagoland stems from the desire to help companies adapt and build off their existing success.”

Bell Works Chicagoland also is home to It Gym, the flexible workspace coLab, and office tenants including Platinum Home Mortgage Corporation, CPA Advisors Group, Mosquito Hunters, and the equity crowdfunding firm The Next Unicorn.

Plans are pending for residential additions to the existing commercial building.

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