Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ch'ava Says Farewell

Readers who are fans of good coffee and delicious sandwiches will be sad to hear that today is the last day for Ch'ava Cafe at 4656 N Clark.  We'd heard the news earlier this week, but were waiting for confirmation, and today it came:

On its Facebook page, Ch'ava writes:

"Our Final Service. I have been reluctant to write this post, partly because this isn't the sort of attention that we seek and partly because it is difficult for us to say goodbye. For a little over five years we have had the privilege of serving our community coffee and food, that we know very well to be luxuries. We did not cure cancer here. We did not change the world.

What we did was simple, really. We tried to create a product that was perfect and we failed every day. Baristas, chefs and anyone who chooses to believe that what they do is a craft, are an odd, difficult bunch. We pursue something that cannot be caught, yet we pursue nonetheless. Somehow, knowing this fate does little to help us accept it. So, we obsess over the smallest details. We practice and read and experiment. We are offended at how someone treats 2 oz of liquid. The absurdity is not lost on us. However, we have always believed that there must be place for people like this. For us, dedication and passion do not require gravity or scope. The pursuit is enough.

We would like to thank our staff. The staff is always the measure of a business and ours are second to none. The training and skill that has to be acquired to work here would astonish many. Nobody here stayed for money. Few in the service industry could make that boast. They have shaped our lives immeasurably.

We would like to thank our customers and our regulars. Thank you for buying into our bizarre little philosophy, a few minutes at a time. The world is place controlled and driven by the approval of the public. To have supported a shop like ours is to support the idea that some things are more important than convenience; that behind marketing and pretty facades the core must be true. Thank you for knowing that behind our gruff exterior and temperamental nature, that we believe that serving you the best product possible was the highest form of service. Please continue to support those kinds of shops.

Lastly, we would like to thank Chicago's craft coffee community. We have seen so many shops doing great things over these last few years. In particular, Intelligentsia, Kilogram Tea, Wormhole, George Howell,Quasar Coffee Roasters, City Grounds, Metropolis, Tim Wendelboe, Red Blossom Tea, Caffe Streets, Ellipses, Gaslight, Passion House Coffee Roasters, The Brothers K, ipsento, Counter Culture, Sol Cafe and anyone we may have failed to mention. Also, the great chefs that we have had the pleasure of working with Mindy Segal, Jason Hammel, Jason Vincent, Jonothan Sawyer and their teams.

Today we are happy to be serving 3 of our favorite roasters. Intelligentsia, whom we have believed for so long to be the finest roasters and sourcers of coffee in the world. Quasar Coffee Roasters, who we believe to be the most exciting new roaster in Chicago and Halfwit Coffee Roasters, who we believe to hold the highest standards of integrity in Chicago. We hope to serve you one last time."


  1. That was a beautiful post. Thank you for allowing us to experience your passion. Good luck to your future endeavors.

  2. What a sad day. I will miss the food most of all--the soups were genius!

  3. I am so sad about this. Thank you, Chava. You were my favorite coffee shop. I loved being only 1 1/2 blocks from you. You were my favorite place to work, whenever I could be out of the office. You were great. Thanks to everyone who made Chava so wonderfult.

  4. This is a great loss to our neighborhood. Everyday I walk by and miss these guys!