Chicory Café makes room for more coffee breaks and live music
Several weeks ago I walked into a new and improved Chicory Café in downtown South Bend. Late last year around Christmas time, Chicory expanded to twice its size to allow more room for guests, live music events and to add a bar with draft beer. It had been a really long time since I’d stopped in at Chicory, and I’m so glad I did.
Jeff Morauski, who co-owns the cafe with Phil and Julie Schreiber, told me by email that they’d been wanting to expand since they purchased the café in September 2012. The larger space really opens it up, providing some additional comfy couch seating area and gives me the room I need to breathe. The space feels more inviting now, and when you walk in you are way more likely to have a few seat options. I like the chill atmosphere and I’m digging the expanded menu as well.A couple times I’ve enjoyed a large, savory slice of quiche and Dan and I enjoyed their spicy twist on deviled eggs — Angry Eggs, which are Sriracha-infused and garnished with jalapenos. I had a chance to try the baked macaroni and cheese my friend Lindsay ordered during a workday lunch and was impressed. I’m not a macaroni kind of girl, but this was real cheesy and smooth. You can add Andouille sausage if you like and I’m sure that would make it even more enticing and delicious. Jeff says that’s one of his favorite menu items along with the Jambalaya. And, of course, you can’t forget to try a beignet, a deep-fried New Orleans doughnut-like pastry.
Chicory Café is a totally relaxed, New Orleans, French quarter-style coffee house with snazzy stained glass light fixtures and colorful, shiny tassel decorations reminiscent of Mardi Gras. I tend to get what I consider a fancy dessert drink here, like an almond milk mocha or one of their fancy specialty lattes. The coffee they serve and sell bagged is from the New Orleans Coffee Exchange, which is roasted in New Orleans.
Last time we went for a weekend lunch, Dan enjoyed a bottle of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. Chicory Café began serving alcohol in February 2013 and has seen the idea catch on even more as they’ve added regional draft beer. They may look to offer super local brews soon from the likes of South Bend Brew Werks and more. Chicory also offers Honey from the Hood, some local jarred salsa and pickles from a South Bend farm, and Jeff says they are currently looking for more local opportunities.
It seems to be a pretty popular spot in South Bend to sit down for a relaxed coffee and lunch break, get some work down using the free wifi, or enjoy some foot-tapping live music. The café features live music every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, and I think I’ll drop in again soon now that the larger space feels a little more conducive for a show.
Chicory has free trivia night every Wednesday night complete with prizes for first, second and third place tables. As you might imagine, many groups meet at Chicory regularly including Science Café, which meets the second Monday of every month at 6 p.m.; a knitting club that meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p,m.; and a Scrabble Club that meets every Thursday at 11 a.m. Jeff said they just started a chess club that meets every Monday at 6 p.m. as well, and they welcome more groups to consider Chicory Café as a comfortable, convenient and delicious meeting location.
I asked Jeff what makes Chicory Cafe so perfect for downtown South Bend. He said, “We offer a great meeting spot and provide an excellent live music experience for all ages in the heart of our city. Our guests can enjoy a tasty latte, craft beer, glass of wine or Italian soda in a comfortable environment with family.”
Chicory started its Dine for a Cause program soon after Jeff, Phil and Julie took over the café in 2012. This is a pretty cool way to raise funds for whatever — school, church, club, community fundraisers etc. On a designated night, Chicory Café will partner with a group or organization and donate 20% of sales to whatever cause you’re championing. Not only does it raise funds for your project or organization, but it also promotes this wonderful South Bend business. Check it out for you next fundraising push!
Follow Chicory Café on Facebook for information on live music and other events.
105 E Jefferson Blvd
South Bend, IN 46601