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Ex-Rootstock Chef Eyeing January Open For Newly-Named Cafe Marie-Jeanne

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The all-day spot is coming very soon to Humboldt Park.

Cafe Marie-Jeanne
Cafe Marie-Jeanne
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Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The restaurant inside the former Knockbox Cafe space from ex-Rootstock chef Mike Simmons has an official new name: Cafe Marie-Jeanne. Simmons, who launched a Kickstarter campaign in July to get the project running, said he hopes to open the first week of January at 1001 N. California Ave. Donors raised $21,290 for the project to bring "artisanal coffee, food and wine culture to Humboldt Park's California corridor." Simmons spoke of an all-day cafe, a bistro at night with a prix-fixe menu, and grocery items in July.

The paper's still up over the windows at the site. Simmons said the cafe's name comes from what a 2.25-liter bottle of wine is called in Bordeaux, as Marie-Jeanne is a reference to an 18th Century wine maven. Simmons is joined by his wife —Valerie Szafranski— and James McLennan on the project temporarily known as Calaugusta Cafe and Grocer. Stay tuned for more updates.