PILSEN — Less than two months after the coffee shop closed its doors, Brew Brew Coffee and Tea has reopened its Pilsen cafe with a new look and feel that pays homage to the owners’ Mexican roots.
With cacti and succulents lining shelves, handprinted tiles and new earth-toned furniture, siblings Jazmin Medrano, Diana Medrano and Christian Medrano reopened the shop at 1610 W. 18th St. on Monday. Brew Brew previously closed in September.
The design and remodel was influenced by the Medranos’ upbringing in Tijuana, Mexico.
“We wanted to do something that represents us, something that speaks about who we are and what we were about,” Jazmin Medrano said.
The cozy 12-seat shop serves drinks made with Passion House Coffee Roasters beans. In addition to a full espresso bar and organic tea blends, signature drinks include an Aztec mocha and Mexican hot chocolate made from a family recipe.
Drinks range from $2.25 for a small drip coffee to $5 for large speciality brews.
The siblings are also working with Jay Ruff of Tattooed Chef Consulting to craft an evolving food menu that features Mexican American flavors, Diana Medrano said. The shop currently serve muffins, scones, croissants, donuts and other breakfast pastries for $3-5.
The Medrano’s first immigrated to Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood from Tijuana, Mexico in 2000. Nine years later, the family bought a convenience store at 3832 W. Diversey Ave.
As Avondale began to change, the Medrano’s saw dwindling sales and decided to close the store and open their first Brew Brew Coffee Shop in the neighborhood, Christian Medrano said.
“We dove in not knowing much about coffee…We had to improvise. My dad and brother made all the tables,” Diana Medrano said.
After success at the first shop, they opened their second location in Pilsen in 2017.
Last month, the Medrano’s announced on Instagram that they would be temporarily closing the doors at the Pilsen coffee shop on Sept. 1.
The renovation was a family affair, too. During the closure, Jazmin Medrano handprinted 65 tiles for the counter, Christian Medrano hung the light fixtures and new menu screens. Their new logo featuring a ram, a native animal of the Baja region, was also affixed to the shop’s front window.
“The ram represents determination and strength,” a reflection of the Mexican community, Jazmin Medrano said.
Now, as they start their next chapter in Pilsen, the Medranos hope Brew Brew will become a welcoming spot for the whole neighborhood.
“We want to break stereotypes and make people feel like this is a second home,” Jazmin Medrano said.
Brew Brew Coffee and Tea in Pilsen is open 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.
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