By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
TrueNorth Café will open in Hyde Park in mid-April. The café will open in the space formally occupied by Z & H Market Cafe, 1323 E. 57th St.
Co-owners Andy Peters, Ben Casterline and a silent partner learned of the opportunity to purchase Z & H late last year and acquired the space on March 1.
“We are in transition of officially taking over Z & H in the next two weeks,” Peters said.
The Chicago-based café also has a location in the Andersonville neighborhood, 5507 N. Clark St.
Peters said many of the items on the Z & H menu will remain on the TrueNorth menu but will be made with higher quality and healthier ingredients to bring it in line with the café’s Andersonville location.
“We are going to reconcept it [Z & H] as our second TrueNorth Café location but we are keeping much of Z & H’s food and catering menu because of their popularity,” Peters said.
Peters also said they will be expanding the coffee menu with Metropolis Coffee and will include more experimental latte and tea options. He said the group is also adding a smoothie bar, similar to the café’s Andersonville location, where they make fresh smoothies and shakes.
“This is the realization of a dream I have had since I graduated from the University of Chicago in 2010,” Peters said. “Hyde Park has some great restaurants but doesn’t have a great off-campus coffee shop imbued with the University of Chicago culture.”
Peters said he and Casterline graduated from the U. of C. together and Casterline is currently in medical school.
“We became friends having intense discussions about various subjects and hope to have a similar atmosphere in the café,” Peters said. “We are jokingly saying TrueNorth will be ‘Where Fun Comes to Dine,’ a play on the popular University of Chicago mantra ‘Where Fun Comes to Die.’”
The café will remained open during the transition.