Originally scheduled to open today, Homaro Cantu's Berrista, which focuses on homemade "healthy junk food," will now open Friday, December 12 in Old Irving Park. The location held a sneak peek Saturday that reportedly saw enough traffic that their available ingredients and supplies were exhausted.
Cantu, along with Moto vet Azeez Yusuf, has crafted a menu for the coffeehouse that features sugar-free items that employ the Miracle Berry, the West African fruit that makes sour or bitter flavors taste sweet. There will also be items that do feature sugar, but Cantu has expressed a desire to eliminate it completely in time.
The Berrista space is clean and bright, giving off a streamlined, franchise vibe (Cantu is hoping to open more Berrista locations in time). There are flat screen TVs above the ordering stations that reveal the menu/prices, and also show customers how the Miracle Berry works via marketing images. You can look over the entire space in the photos above.
Cantu has also equipped the coffeehouse with several state-of-the-art appliances. For coffee, he's employing the Steampunk 4.1, which brews four different single servings of coffee or tea with multiple processes that are controlled by a Google Nexus 7 tablet connected to the machine. With the doughnuts, he's using a Donut Robot Mark II, which can make up to 153 dozen mini-doughnuts per hour.
When Berrista opens on Friday, guests can expect a menu of sandwiches (chicken and waffle with sugar-free maple syrup), flatbreads (portobello, beef tenderloin), assorted scones, doughnuts, coffee cakes, an assortment of coffee, espressos and lattes, along with sodas, teas and juice. Berrista will be open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and closed on Sundays.