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Openings Tue Jun 17 2014

Gracie's Cafe Provides Coffee, Training on Near West Side

Gracie's Cafe ChicagoGracie's Cafe holds its grand re-opening this Thursday from 10:30am to noon at 1517 W. Warren Blvd., between Ashland and Ogden avenues. The coffeehouse is run by St. Leonard's Ministries as a training program for formerly incarcerated men and women, providing them an opportunity to develop skills in the food service industry.

"St. Leonard's had been doing a culinary arts program, back of the house training, said Gracie's Manager Mike Ellert. "But we found that a lot of the jobs were in front of house skills -- cashiering, barista skills, sandwich making, pastry trays, greeting people. The back of the house skills were great, but if they had some front of the house skills too, they had a much better chance at getting a job."

Gracie's Cafe launched in September of last year, and 12 of the 18 people trained so far have found jobs at such companies as Eataly, Pete's Market at the CTA.

The cafe is open 7am to 2pm Monday through Friday, 8am to 2pm on Saturday, and serves Intelligentsia coffee as well as pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads. Delivery to area businesses and the Loop is in the works. And given its proximity to Union Park, Gracie's will be a great spot for Pitchfork Music Festival attendees to grab coffee and a snack while they wait for the gates to open.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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