A New Zealand coffee chain plans to expand by opening its first coffee shop in the U.S. in Chicago’s Loop near the iconic Willis Tower. Mojo, which debuted in 2003 and runs 35 shops—mostly in New Zealand, with six in Japan and another in China—could open as many as 30 in Chicago, according to DNAinfo.
Mojo’s first Chicago shop is planned to open sometime in May at 200 S. Wacker Drive. Kiwi supporters resorted to collaborating with Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee back in 2014 when the New Zealand national team played the U.S. in a rugby match at Soldier Field. Intelligentsia put a flat white on its menu, recognizing the birthplace of the beverage. The drink is a Mojo specialty and will be on their menu.
New Zealand cuisine isn’t abundant in Chicago giving Mojo a void to fill. The company’s founder told DNAinfo that they plan on serving some native food. Items like chia pudding and minced beef cheek on toast. There’s also a special Chicago item: Peanut butter and tomato on toast. Customers won’t find that at a coffee shop in Wicker Park or Logan Square—unless Mojo has plans to eventually join the glut of shops on Milwaukee Avenue. They’ll offer counter service with the food brought out by runners. Plans call for a 1,500-square-foot cafe with a patio in The Loop.
The New Zealand Mojo shouldn’t be confused with a New Orleans coffee shop of the same name. They opened in 2006 in The Big Easy.