Something is always brewing at Hometown Coffee and Juice.
In the most recent development, the local coffeehouse is planning another expansion — its second in two years — to complement its original store in Glencoe.
Hometown owner Lou Rubin told The Record that he and wife, Julie, hope the third store opens before the year is out at 231 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Lake Forest.
“We’re excited to be in Lake Forest,” Rubin said. “We’re all about community and we think that community can use something like this.”
Hometown Coffee debuted in 2018 at 700 Vernon Ave. in Glencoe with a menu of coffees, hand-pressed juices, pastries, and breakfast and lunch plates. Finding quick success, the Rubins soon added an adjacent storefront to grow their space.
During the pandemic, the interior of Hometown was closed but the shop thrived with its to-go service and extended outdoor seating. The Rubins decided to open a second store in 2021 in Winnetka, taking multiple storefronts at the northeast corner of Lincoln Avenue and Elm Street.
Lou Rubin said the idea to open a Lake Forest location came about before the Winnetka plan. Hometown and the Lake Forest space’s owners could not reach an agreement at that time, but reconnected this year and inked a deal in June, Rubin said.
The new location is at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Bank Lane, just on the outskirts of Lake Forest’s renowned Market Square. A Caputo’s Cheese Market used to occupy the space until 2020 when it gave way to Visconti Cheese Market. That store closed in August 2021.
Rubin said Hometown’s concept will be something new for the area.
“We’re an all-day cafe and gathering place,” he said. “I don’t think there is anything like that there at the moment, where you can go and find something on the menu any time of day or met someone for business or meet family and friends.”
The Rubins plan a full build out of the Lake Forest space and while they hope it’s ready in 2022, Lou acknowledged they are at the mercy of unstable construction costs and materials.
Lou said several locations was not exactly the plan when they opened Hometown Coffee and Juice, but as they have seen the success and growth, “we really believe our concept will work in many neighborhoods.”
“It works because we provide an environment that sort of transforms people,” he said. “They walk in and it’s not like a normal coffee shop. It appeals to everyone. We see three generations of people in our coffee shop almost always.
“We focus on being friendly and having a great process. We focus on the overall experience. … We try to make connections on many levels.”
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