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Rare Tea Cellars’ Cocktails & Live Music Coming To New Pilsen Cafe/Bar

The owners of the Bagelers are working something new

A glimpse inside Cafe Lacuna.

Tea-based cocktails represent the same ideals behind the third-wave coffee movement, said Jotam Torres, the owner of The Bagelers coffee shop in Lincoln Park. He’s collaborating with Roderick Markus of Rare Tea Cellars, and they plan on offering a selection of six to seven tea cocktails after Torres opens Cafe Lacuna as early as next week on the first-floor of the Lacuna Lofts Arts Building in Pilsen.

“We’re excited to expand our reach into the Pilsen community,” Torres said.

Tea cocktails are just part of the plans. Cafe Lacuna will serve the laptop set with coffee and baked goods in the mornings and afternoons before closing for about 30 minutes for a brief reset. During evenings they’ll serve small plates and the aforementioned cocktails while hosting live music.

The cocktails will be dependent on securing a liquor license. Torres described a sangria made with Mallorca melon tea. It’s infused with brandy for two or three days, then mixed with red wine and fresh-brewed tea. It’s served slushy style.

Torres wasn’t intending to open a cafe/bar. He was looking for a space to relocate his bakery, which was stationed in Griffith, Ind. Torres spoke with the building’s owner, Joe Cacciatore, was looking for someone to operate a cafe/bar for the artists inside the building. The two parties brokered a deal that including moving the bakery to the basement.

The 2,000-square-foot space will have a stage and a variety of seating—bar stools, booths and bleacher-style seats. There’s even a rooftop deck, but Torres isn’t sure how they’ll use the outdoor area. The live music will be from local performers, perhaps tapping into the loft’s community.

Three years ago, plans for Magik St. Tavern were unfurled for the space—complete with signs featuring those iconic red lips from the Magikist carpet cleaning company that greeted Chicago motorists until the early 2000s. But that deal fell through. That left Torres with a bar/cafe area that was about half complete. Crews finished construction about a month ago.

Stay tuned for more as opening day grows closer in Pilsen.

Lacuna Artist Lofts and Studios

2150 S Canalport Ave, Chicago, IL 60608 (773) 609-5638

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