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Unapologetically Local Cups'a Joe: Bridgeport Coffee House

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 19, 2005 7:54PM

Despite its red-hot housing market the Bridgeport neighborhood so far is free of the retail chains that epitomize the march of gentrification, if not modern urban living altogether. Chicagoist understands that many of its readers enjoy a piping hot cup of Starbucks- we can’t get through a morning without a mocha or a caramel macchiato ourselves. Between Intelligentsia’s downtown location and the handful of independent coffee shops we’ve long championed- like Kopi in Andersonville, Café Avanti on Southport, and the newly opened Swim Café on Chicago Avenue. We see no need to cross the threshold of The Ubiquitous Caffeinated Elephant From The Pacific Northwest. It’s our task here at Chicagoist to introduce our readers to hidden local gems that would otherwise go unnoticed. Besides, we prefer to leave the speaking of gibberish Italian to people who are actually good at it.

The Bridgeport Coffee House is one of those hidden gems. Nestled in a corner storefront on the same stretch of street that’s also home to Polo Café and Catering and the Zhou Brothers Arts Foundation they’ve been the only coffee house in the neighborhood going on two years now; their customers range from lifelong residents just looking for a good cup of joe to new homeowners who order their macchiatoes "venti skim" out of habit. In the process they’ve earned a reputation for proudly supporting the burgeoning artistic community settling in Bridgeport, attracted to the still-affordable rents available here.

More after the jump.

2005_08_Bridgeport14.jpgPhotograph and art exhibitions rotate through the shop’s interior walls with amazing frequency. Customers can settle into comfortable couches or sit outside and enjoy the street life on either 31st Street or Morgan. A Monday night open mike attracts musicians, poets, and writers from within and outside the neighborhood. A counter display in front of the register sells copies of local comic book artist Jose Roberto “Nino” Mesarina’s “Laundry Detergent Man.”

But what separates the Bridgeport Coffee House from most other independent coffee shops is that they roast their coffee every day in the store. This allows them to sell their bulk coffee an average of two-to-four dollars cheaper than Intelligentsia or Starbucks. Combining techniques garnered from coffee roasters around the country with their own personal coffee tastes, the various roasts available from Bridgeport Coffee House are consistently smooth, rarely bitter, and always full of flavor. Finally, Bridgeport Coffee House offers free wi-fi service for those who can’t leave the house without a laptop or pocket PC.

Bridgeport Coffee House is located at 3101 South Morgan. Their hours of operation are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (773) 247-9950