You don’t have to make the trek up to Door County to enjoy an old-fashioned “Christmassy” type of repast. Simply drive over to 10528 S. Western Avenue in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and stop by the Beverly Bakery and Café.
Although the Beverly Bakery and Cafe is a relatively new entry on the South Side dining scene, this neighborhood holds tight to traditions and long-tenured businesses as evidenced by the many old-school neon signs that line the area’s major thoroughfares.
Like many places on the tight-knit South Side, the Beverly Bakery and Café is a family-run operation, with Jim and Jean Marie Quigley at the helm. Stop in on a Sunday morning and you could find their kids waiting tables, serving the delectable baked goods or even helping a customer select some of the freshly roasted coffee available for purchase.
The Quigleys have stated that their café is the only coffee roaster south of Bridgeport but their beans have a world-class pedigree. Beverly Bakery and Café prides itself on the fact that they offer over 20 origins of coffee from every corner of the globe—with the green beans roasted in-house to exacting standards. There are also many organic and fair-trade choices available.
Roasting the coffee is truly a labor of love for Jim Quigley, who said it is “such an adventure” to create the perfect blend of bean. He said he “was always interested in coffee roasting” and stumbled upon a coffee roaster after the café and bakery were up and running. He does the roasting after the shop has closed due to an “annoying whistle” with his slow roaster.
The roaster sound might be an annoyance but his small batch roaster offers much more consistency and control than the industrial-size roasters. Quigley added that he could only roast 5 pounds of coffee beans at a time to yield 4 pounds of fresh coffee. Blends from Peru, Ethiopia and Guatemala are his biggest sellers.
With so many global java options on the table—along with the scent of freshly brewed coffee in the air— it goes without saying that you can get more than a simple cup of Joe at Beverly Bakery and Café. From espressos and cappuccinos to lattes and iced coffee, it’s easy to get a great coffee fix in minutes. They also offer over 30 varieties of tea.
In addition to the wide array of hot beverage selections, diners are always sure to get a warm welcome inside this cozy café. In true South Side fashion, it’s the sort of place where everyone seems to know each other. The servers sport school insignias from Mother McCauley, Brother Rice and other local learning institutions while “Merry Christmases” ring out without worrying about political correctness.
The people have also spoken about the food at the Beverly Bakery and the overall consensus on “Yelp” is extremely favorable. Many “Yelpers” raved about the place’s various takes on Eggs Benedict, which even prompted a visit from Brittney Peyton for the “Chicago’s Best” television program.
The Salmon Eggs Benedict is one of the café’s most popular entrees. Quigley said that the combination of cream cheese and capers along with freshly made Hollandaise sauce and a perfectly poached egg make this dish “come together like a dream.”
Quigley also was quick to recommend the Portabella Eggs Benedict in which they use truffle oil from France along with a pound of unsalted butter to make the Portabellas pop!
Surprisingly, Quigley had no prior professional cooking experience although he was responsible for feeding more than 70 people while in the Boy Scouts. He said that this experience helped him add a unique spin to many dishes, as he often had to improvise with ingredients like government-issued cheese.
While the Beverly Bakery and Café now employs a pastry chef, Quigley said that he is “so grateful” for all those who helped him create great-tasting pastries in the bakery and cafe’s early days. He also praised the many others who helped make his family’s Beverly business venture a success.
The Beverly Bakery and Café is open Tuesday through Friday from 7am until 2 pm. The weekend hours are 8am until 2pm. You can also call them at 773-238-5580 for take-out orders.