Z&H to replace UMart in May

“The dynamic of the store will be different, but the concept will be very similar,” Z&H co-owner Tim Schau said.

By Ella Christoph

Zaleski and Horvath MarketCafé (Z&H) will open a second location on 57th Street and Kimbark Avenue this spring, replacing University Market.

Z&H, which currently operates on 47th Street between Greenwood and Woodlawn Avenues, is a specialty grocery store with a deli, cheese shop, and café.

Tim Schau, co-owner of the shop with Sam Darrigrang, said the University approached Z&H a few months ago about opening a store at the 57th Street location. “At the time, we weren’t actually looking for a new location, but it’s a great opportunity,” he said.

The new location is appealing because of its high foot traffic. “It’s a completely different atmosphere. We don’t have a lot of walking ,” Schau said. “The dynamic of the store will be different, but the concept will be very similar.”

Schau said the 57th Street location is similar in size to the 47th Street shop and will offer a comparable array of services.

University Market, which has rented its space from the University of Chicago, announced its decision to close the shop and move their deli operations to Medici Bakery on November 2, citing a large increase in rent that they claimed was significantly higher than other retail sites in Hyde Park. The owner of the market, Hans Morsbach (MBA ’61) also owns Medici Bakery and Medici Market and operates the Pub.

University Market closes December 13 and will begin operating its deli out of the bakery.

Schau said the rent for the space is at market rate, although he would not disclose any specific numbers. He said business at the 47th Street location has been good and was confident that Z&H on 57th Street would be profitable.

Z&H’s lease begins in January, when renovations will begin. Schau said the shop will open in May if the project goes according to plan.

According to University spokesman Steve Kloehn, the University has been working to make the transition as speedy as possible in light of University Market choosing not to extend its lease. “Because University Market wanted to accelerate their departure, the University has been working with Z&H to see how soon it’s possible to open,” he said.

One possible change is a glass shutter that would allow customers to access an espresso bar from inside or outside the shop. Changing the layout of the store from University Market’s current arrangement will also make room for tables and chairs inside as well as a variety of specialty counters, Schau said.

The shop’s deli will offer made-to-order sandwiches and panini that will cost between seven and eight dollars. At the 47th street location, Z&H’s Godfather, with prosciutto, basil, tomato, and mozzarella, is $7.50, with a vegetarian version available for a dollar less. The sandwich mirrors University Market’s most popular seller, which is $6.25, or $4.50 for the vegetarian sandwich.

Other Z&H offerings include a sandwich with roast beef, blue cheese, and onion spread, and another with grilled eggplant, tomato, and red pepper spread.

According to Kloehn, the University was interested in leasing the store to a high-quality amenity shop. Z&H, he said, was an ideal choice because of its local roots.

“Z&H has been a great addition to Kenwood, and Tim is a long-time Hyde Parker,” Kloehn said. “There is always a desire to promote local businesses.”

Z&H opened on 47th Street just over a year ago. Schau described the store as a “best-in-class experience,” saying the store was competitively priced in what they offered.

“We’re a premium experience, but at an affordable price,” he said.

Schau said their La Cuerca proscuitto from Iowa is a premium offering from a regional provider at a reasonable price. The shop also holds out for serrano ham from Spain because, he said, only the Spanish really know how to make serrano.

It’s details like these which make Z&H special, he said, while allowing it to operate at reasonable prices. “It’s a neighborhood grocery that’s brought up to date.”