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Beverly, Mt. Greenwood, Morgan Park

Afro Joe’s Coffee Shop Reopens In Beverly Saturday: ‘We Can’t Wait To See Peoples’ Faces’

Afro Joe's will reopen in Beverly for the Memorial Day weekend with live music and a DJ. The beloved coffee shop closed its Auburn Gresham location in April.

Afro Joe's Coffee Shop will reopen 8 a.m. Saturday after nearly two months closed at a new Beverly location.
Atavia Reed/Block Club Chicago
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BEVERLY — After closing for nearly two months, an adored South Side coffee shop will finally welcome waiting customers.

Afro Joe’s Coffee & Tea reopens 8 a.m. Saturday. Neighbors can visit the shop at its new Beverly location, 1818 W. 99th St., for a cup of coffee, a bite to eat and live music. Fans of house music can stop by the coffee shop 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday for a live DJ set.

Kendall and Aisha Griffin, the husband-and-wife owners, said they’re excited to “cross the finish line” and reopen to business as usual. The couple closed their original location in Auburn Gresham last month and have spent the last several weeks readying the new shop, which was once home to City Grange garden center.

“We’re excited to be able to facilitate a new beginning and have some of our old customers still support us,” Aisha Griffin said. “We’re also thrilled to meet some new people. It’s been weird to be closed because it’s all we’ve been doing for the last two years. We can’t wait to see peoples’ faces and make them smile again.”

Afro Joe’s opened in Auburn Gresham in October 2020. The shop quickly became a popular destination for neighbors, serving up matcha lemonades, cold brews, and cheesecakes.

The owners vowed to keep their business in the neighbor after they were burglarized twice in August. Neighbors poured into the shop to share their love and encouragement.

But the couple announced in March they had to move after their landlord, who is the sister of one of the owners, declined to renew the shop’s lease. The shop’s last day in Auburn Gresham was April 10. 

Despite the heartbreak of leaving the community, the Griffins said “everything fell into place” to open on 99th Street, something of a homecoming for Kendall Griffin who grew up in the Beverly area.

Credit: Atavia Reed/Block Club Chicago
Owner Kendall Griffin stands outside of the new Afro Joe’s location, 1818 W. 99th Street.

Customers can expect the same love and energy at their Beverly location, Aisha Griffin said.

A few items have been cut from the menu, but a new dish has been added: The Beverly BLT. Surprise specials will roll out every week in June.

“We’ve got some guest chefs that are going to come and help us out periodically throughout the month,” Aisha Griffin said. “Our baristas have some fun drinks up their sleeves for opening day.”

Neighbors from Auburn Gresham, Beverly and beyond have already stopped by to see what the coffee shop is cooking up, Aisha Griffin said. They can’t wait to “get back to it,” she said.

“We’re super excited that we’re able to come back and we hope that our customers are going to be as proud of this space as they were of the space in Auburn Gresham,” Aisha Griffin said. “We think of the coffee shop kind of as an extension of our home, so this is where we get to entertain. Being able to have them back, we’re thrilled about that.”

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