It’s been a little more than two years since Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt Hospitality opened its Japanese-influenced coffee shop, Sawada, inside the same West Loop space that houses Green Street Smoked Meats and High Five Ramen. On Monday, Hogsalt stealthily opened a second location with the Sawada name — Sawada Matcha — this time in River North at 226 W. Kinzie Street. It’s the same address where Hogsalt’s Japanese restaurant, Radio Anago, should open next week.
Sawada Coffee in West Loop is a collaboration between Hogsalt (Gilt Bar, Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf, Au Cheval) and Hiroshi Sawada, a Japanese barista and artist who owns shops in Japan. Hogsalt also plans to open a coffee shop with Sawada this year in New York. Sawada won the 2008 Free Pour Latte Art Championship, the first winner from Japan. The new shop features Sawada’s signature drink — the military matcha latte. It also has a matcha doughnut from Hogsalt’s Doughnut Vault, one of the most popular chains in Chicago. There’s also macaroons with eight to 12 flavors on a given day. They are a tribute to Japan’s obsession with French pastries, Sodikoff said.
The River North space doubles as the entrance for Radio Anago and will serve as the restaurant’s lounge at night. Restaurant customers will go through curtains to get to the dining room. The Sawada space is comfy with four counter seats and a plush sectional. The walls feature white, gold and silver reflective tiles.
Sawada River North also features pour-over teas and three boozy drinks: matcha and mint, strawberries and creme, and the Matcha Go-Go Shot (matcha, Wisconsin creme liqueur, vodka).
The coffee shop is only an appetizer before Radio Anago opens. Keep it here for more coverage.
Sawada Matcha, 226 W. Kinzie Street, open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.