Fairgrounds Craft Coffee and Tea to Open at Campus North

The Chicago-based chain’s newest location will occupy the space formerly filled by Dollop Coffee.


Fairgrounds Fulton Market

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea will open its tenth nationwide location in Hyde Park.

By Yiwen Lu, Managing Editor

Coffee drinkers on campus will soon have yet another place to get their caffeine fix. Fairgrounds Craft Coffee and Tea, a Chicago-based coffee house known for its diverse selection of roasts, will open a new location at the University in early 2022.

The café will join Nella, Insomnia Cookies, and Te’amo Boba Bar on the ground floor of Campus North Residential Commons. The space previously held a branch of Dollop Coffee Company, another Chicago-based chain, for four years until the location went out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hyde Park will be the tenth Fairgrounds location in the country. The chain also has cafés in Dallas, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

Unlike other coffee shops that exclusively use coffee beans from a single roastery, Fairgrounds sources its coffee from a myriad of brands around the country. The Chicago location menu, for example, features blends from Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, California; and Counter Culture Coffee in Durham, North Carolina.

From a three-step espresso bar and matcha bar to diverse elixir offerings, Fairgrounds provides a wide selection of craft drinks. In addition, the café has pledged to bring all-day breakfast, lunch, and a kids’ food menu to the neighborhood.

Fairgrounds’ arrival will be the latest in a series of new restaurant openings in the Hyde Park area despite the continued restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, popular salad chain Sweetgreen and Chicagoland staple Stan’s Donuts opened their first South Side locations on East 53rd Street and in Harper Court, respectively. Fast food chains Wingstop and Taco Bell Cantina made their Hyde Park debuts on East 53rd Street one year ago.