WASHINGON PARK — Two Black- and Brown-owned businesses will serve up carefully curated culinary experiences when they join Retreat at Currency Exchange Cafe as part of its food and beverage residency this week.
Collective Ventures — an event curation company offering multicultural, farm-to-table fare — and cocktail company Pour Souls will be in residence at the cafe, 305 E. Garfield Blvd., through December.
The Monday Coffee cafe began its residency at Retreat in August.
Pour Souls founder Tim Williams will take the lead on beverage programs at Retreat for its Thursday happy hours and Sundays at Stony Island Arts Bank. The native North Sider has been creating cocktail starters and teaching classes for the past 10 years.
Williams said he’s excited to bring his talents to the South Side and to have a brick and mortar space for the time being.
“We try to make things comprehensive. We’re don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There’s a certain level of exclusivity, or like, an idea that you have to be certain places to find cocktails,” Williams said. “We want the experience to feel special, but we don’t want it to feel exclusive or exclusionary in any way.”
To that end, Pour Souls will offer six to eight cocktails on its seasonal menu, ranging from $9 to $12, slightly lower than the average $14 libation.
Meanwhile, Collective Ventures chef Jazer Syed hopes to bring a smile to daily commuters who stop in for one of his breakfast sandwiches ($6-$11). The Philippines-born Syed will offer a special menu for Retreat’s Thursday happy hour, as well, with dishes such as half-roasted chicken, cornbread with honey butter, and spicy deviled eggs.
The Detroit native, a 10-year industry veteran, draws his inspiration from his multicultural background and global travels, which reflect in the medley of flavors featured on his menu.
“For the breakfast sandwiches, we were kind of inspired by the New York bodega sandwiches, something that was easy to grab, quick and filling,” Syed said. “I want to be able to offer affordable food and give folks an option that isn’t just fast food, and grow with the community.”
The Currency Exchange Cafe is open 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Its Thursday happy hour is 5-8 p.m.
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