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New City’s Getting a Coffee Shop with Paczkis From a Local Roaster

Sputnik Coffee Roasters has plans for the Southwest Side

Sputnik Coffee Roasters
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.

Sputnik Coffee Roasters, a Chicago company that began in January 2017, plans to open its first coffeeshop in a tiny sliver of New City, in an area many mistake for Back of the Yards on the city’s Southwest Side. Sputnik, which supplies coffee to restaurants including The Winchester and Bangers and Lace in Wicker Park, should unveil its 900-square-foot cafe in mid-March at 2057 W. 51st Street — inside the same building where it roasts coffee. It’ll serve baked goods from Delightful Pastries, including paczkis.

The company is a collaboration between four friends. There’s Vova Kagan and his twin brother Greesha Kagan, along with Michael Roytman and Diarmuid Horan. Vova Kagan described the group’s mission, to give the neighborhood an affordable and quality cup of coffee regardless of profession. They focus on one blend: a mix of Brazilian, Colombian, and Sumatran beans. Kagan doesn’t want to be known as a specialty coffee shop even though they share a supplier, Royal Coffee New York, which works with shops like Intelligentsia Coffee. Sputnik uses “specialty grade” coffee beans, Kagan said.

“We felt that the thing in Chicago is the coffee scene had gotten a little complicated,” Kagan said.

Kagan, who worked at a healthcare start-up company, said that everyone at Sputnik has experience in the coffee industry, whether as a barista or as heavy coffee consumers. At the cafe, Sputnik will serve a $2 cup of drip coffee and basic espresso drinks. Tea service will also be a focus, and it will also have off-the-menu items. Greek-style frappés and freddos will also be served. It’ll have a European vibe with benches and seating for about 10. Wifi will be available.

The area doesn’t have many quality coffee choices, Kagan said. He singled out a Dunkin’ Donuts and Back of The Yards Coffee as the only nearby options. Sputnik is a local option that Kagan hopes will become an everyday habit for neighborhood residents. Check back for more on Sputnik as the coffee shop’s opening grows closer.