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Z&H in the HP: First Bronzeville Hot Spot Invades Hyde Park, Next the World?

By JoshMogerman in Food on Aug 29, 2010 5:45PM

Zaleski & Horvath in Hyde Park [Jmogs]
Is Chicago’s newest food juggernaut massing quietly on the South Side? Since opening in the fall of 2008, the Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe has gathered a growing army of devotees in Bronzeville and Kenwood. After all, the deli/grocery’s quirky mix of premium foods, outstanding sandwiches, Metropolis coffee and attentive staff are pretty much absent from the area, particularly the barren 47th Street commercial corridor. Hyde Parkers nearby noticed. It is rare for denizens of that leafy hood to look with envy at the nearby neighborhoods, but Z&H fills a niche missing throughout the South Side. Well, folks on 57th Street needn’t fantasize about the “pig on a pretzel” or Clover-brewed coffee drinks any longer---Z&H quietly opened a new outpost right next door to Hyde Park stalwart Medici this week.

Given the neighborhood anticipation of the opening (check out the breathless run up coverage over at Hyde Park Progress), it was no surprise that the place was packed when we popped in yesterday. No sign announces the new store’s presence, but it’s pretty hard to miss. A glass garage-style rollup window dominates the storefront and opens the espresso bar to the street with the happily caffeinat*ed spilling out onto the buzzing block across from the Bixler Play Lot. Inside, exposed brick and painted tin roof add an appropriately classy look to the updated sandwich counter and grocery section, while a painted mural depicting a kitchen stocked with ingredients for Z&H’s most popular deli items adds to the welcoming vibe.

Co-owners Tim Schau and Sam Darrigrand told the Chicago Maroon, “It’s a completely different atmosphere. We don’t have a lot of walking [at our current location]. The dynamic of the store will be different, but the concept will be very similar.” There’s no doubt they have another winner on their hands. We just hope they can juggle the two locations and keep things strong for their 47th Street fans---remember your Bronzeville roots gentlemen!

Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafes can be found at 1126 E. 47th Street and 1323 East 57th Street.