LOGAN SQUARE — A coffee shop from a growing local company is taking over the former Intelligentsia spot in the heart of Logan Square.
Pedestrian Coffee is expanding to Logan Square, opening at 2642 N. Milwaukee Ave. near the Logan Square Blue Line station within the next couple of weeks, owner Tim Taylor said.
Once open, the Logan Square coffee shop will be Pedestrian’s fourth location. The coffee company has outposts in Lakeview and suburban Lake Forest and will be opening a spot in Andersonville, Taylor said.
Pedestrian Logan Square will serve high-quality coffee ethically sourced from farms around the world, along with fresh pastries and coffee-infused ice cream served in waffle cones made from scratch.
The former owner of Ipsento Coffee, Taylor said he founded Pedestrian earlier in the pandemic around his passion for quality ingredients and fair compensation for coffee growers.
Pedestrian coffee shops sell lattes and other drinks at slightly higher prices than competitors because growers are paid above fair trade prices and most ingredients used are organic, Taylor said.
Taylor leased the Logan Square storefront through a coffee industry connection not long after Intelligentsia closed in April.
He said the space is ideal because it’s already built out for a coffee shop and it brings him back to his roots. Ipsento’s original coffee shop, which closed in 2020 following an employee boycott, was on Western Avenue in nearby Bucktown.
“When I owned Ipsento, I used to bike to work through Logan Square. I would stop at Intelligentsia, have an espresso and get organized for the day and then go to work,” Taylor said. “It’s pretty exciting that we could take over one of my favorite shops in the city and make it a Pedestrian.”
Taylor said he plans to keep Intelligentsia’s floating bar — custom-designed by world barista champion Stephen Morrissey — to encourage interaction between baristas and customers. There will be an espresso machine in back where customers can make their own drinks, he said.
“Education has always been a big thing in what I do in coffee. I’ve taken thousands of people through classes at Ipsento,” Taylor said.
Taylor sold Ipsento to a private equity firm in 2018 after nine years as owner and CEO.
“I ran out of money, and I needed to bring in a partner to bring in capital to keep the business going,” he said.
He signed a non-compete agreement restricting him from working in the Chicago coffee industry for three years, but once those three years were up, he launched Pedestrian, opening coffee shops in Lake Forest and Lakeview, he said.
At Pedestrian, the roasts, drinks and other menu items are named after forms of walking and street signs, like the hitchhiker’s scone and the jaywalker blend made with beans from Guatemala and Brazil. The name is an expression of approachability, Taylor said.
“It’s kinda making fun of coffee people, including ourselves, who take it way too seriously,” he said.
“While we want to continue to explore coffee and more interesting recipes — pour-overs that showcase the growers and farms — we also don’t want to overthink it, we don’t want to make it so polarizing that we only attract a certain audience and it’s intimidating when you walk into the shop because you don’t know how to pronounce half of the menu items.”
Intelligentsia closed both its Logan Square and Wicker Park coffee shops earlier this year, citing sluggish sales during the pandemic.
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