The trio of siblings behind Cebu, a busy Wicker Park Filipino restaurant, are preparing to launch a sweet suburban offshoot. Cybill, Marlon, and Malvin Tan plan to open Cafe Cebu this fall in Naperville featuring Asian and French pastries, ice cream made on site, and boba drinks.
Cafe Cebu will provide a larger platform for Cybill Tan, a pastry chef who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco. She plans to put that French training to work at the bakery in combination with Asian flavors like matcha, black sesame, and pandan. That means that patrons can expect opening menu items like ube crinkle cookies, salted egg yolk ice cream, and halo halo, but shouldn’t get too attached: Tan plans to rotate new items in regularly to keep things interesting. “Maybe one day we’ll have fresh doughnuts, and the next day we’ll have eclairs or macarons,” she says.
The approach appears somewhat similar to Kasama, the Filipino restaurant near Cebu in Ukrainian Village that features the pastries of Genie Kwon.
Tan sees the bakery as an opportunity to experiment and stretch herself, so she’ll also offer breads and savory items including Japanese milk bread, longganisa buns, and salted egg croissants. Fans will also find a selection of milk and fruit teas with boba and lychee jelly (Tan’s favorite), as well as drip coffee, cold brew, and creamy nitro cold brew.
The suburban cafe will primarily operate as a to-go counter service spot with ice cream and pastry cases, though some limited seating will be available. She’s drawn design inspiration from the modern minimalist aesthetic of Asian ice cream compatriot Kurimu, the Japanese-inspired shop with outposts in Little Italy and Wicker Park, outfitting the space with white walls with pops of pastel pink.
Though she’s still in the midst of the permit process, Tan hopes to open by the end of October, which is also Filipino American History Month. She and her brothers made a splash in 2019 when they launched the Wicker Park restaurant with a menu starring Cebuano cuisine, a regional style that highlights Chinese and Spanish influences in Filipino food. Stay tuned for news of the bakery’s opening date.
Café Cebu, 790 Royal St. George Drive in Naperville, Scheduled to open in late October.