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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Rogers Park’s The Common Cup Coffee Shop Closing This Week, Hints At Future Return

The Common Cup has been open for 13 years, but it's experienced hardships during the coronavirus pandemic.

Common Cup, 1501 W. Morse Ave., will close on March 20.
Facebook/The Common Cup
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ROGERS PARK — The Common Cup will close its doors this week — at least temporarily — ending a 13-year run for the neighborhood coffee shop on Morse Avenue.

Friday will be The Common Cup’s last day “for the foreseeable future,” management announced this week on Facebook. The cafe at 1501 W. Morse Ave. will close indefinitely Saturday, but management hinted the business could return in the future.

“Thank you for your overwhelming support,” a sign in Common Cup’s window reads. “We hope to return soon.”

The Common Cup has been a Rogers Park staple for 13 years, but it got new owners in November 2019. Founders John and Ruth Hoekwater sold the business to Entrenuity, a nonprofit organization that provides mentorship and capital to minority-owned businesses.

Entruinity made changes to the business model, hired a Black artist to redesign The Common Cup’s logo and renovated the shop. But the coronavirus pandemic made business difficult for the neighborhood coffee shop, management said in social media posts.

The Common Cup used the pandemic to further renovate the shop, employing its baristas to paint the walls and redesign the coffee bar, management said in an article on Entrenuity’s website. It also debuted an updated website with Common Cup merchandise.

In January, business managers said on Facebook they were experiencing “low sales” and told customers of ways to patronize the business during the pandemic, including buying gift cards and merchandise.

Later that month, Common Cup announced it would further reduce hours and close at 1 p.m. daily.

Common Cup management and Entrenuity did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Rogers Park neighbors on social media expressed their sadness at the announcement and thanked the business for providing a local service.

“You provided a welcoming personal haven in the midst of big corporate coffees,” one customer wrote.

Last month, Entruinity leaders and city officials cut the ribbon on the redeveloped former home of JayVee Records, a pioneering Black-owned music business in the South Loop at 1449 S. Michigan Ave. Located in the redeveloped building is Overflow Coffee, which opened in the South Loop in 2011 but closed its original location in April 2019 and said it would reopen elsewhere.

In July 2019, Overflow announced it would move to the former JayVee Records building. It officially opened the location Feb. 19.

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