New Starbucks Development Plan to Open in Bridgeport on 31st and Halsted Streets

Written by: Medina Sosic and Gabriela Kieta

Starbucks has plans to open a drive-thru store on a city-owned vacant lot located on 31st and Halsted Streets next to the 9th District Police Station. The date has not been released to the public, however the vacant lot has been approved for sale in December 2018.

If the development goes as planned, this would be at least the sixth coffee shop, not including the two Dunkin Donuts in Bridgeport.

Alderman Thompson envisioned a neighborhood where members of the community would walk around town to get errands done. With this Starbucks development–it would do just that.

Vacant lot for upcoming Starbucks development in Bridgeport

Bridgeport is one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods located on the South Side, known to be one of the cities oldest and politically influenced neighborhoods. In fact, five Chicago mayors are proud to call Bridgeport their home.

Street View of the vacant lot in Bridgeport. Photo by Block Club Chicago.

The neighborhood used to have a large Polish, Lithuanian, Irish, and Italian population, however now there is more representation of African-Americans, Mexicans, and Chinese. Neighboring communities such as Pilsen and Chinatown are have likely caused the Mexican and Chinese population to move into Bridgeport.

Bridgeport has made a major transition from an industrial hub to an alluring scene for dining and art. Resident favorites include Jackalope Coffee, located on 755 W 32nd St., Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar on 960 W 31st St, Taqueria San Jose on 3253 S Halsted St., Bridgeport Art Center located on 1200 W 35th St., and the famous Johnny O’s Hot Dog Stand located on 3465 S Morgan St.  

Here’s a quick preview of the vibrant inside of Jackalope Coffee: 

Joy Cafe and Red Line Cafe are other Bridgeport coffee spots.

It is estimated to cost around $2.5 million.

Bridgeport residents aren’t too fond of the project, as they value local businesses and contribute to their prosperity.

Patrick Bartman, a Bridgeport resident of three years, initially found out about the Starbucks developments on the “Bridgeport Chicago” Facebook group. He soon learned more details from a friend involved in Civic Data Science. This is the second attempt at getting this project going, but so far the most compelling.

“Knowing how heavily these community hubs would be affected with a drive-thru Starbucks within spitting distance scares me,” Bartman said.

Starbucks Corporation turned down several interview requests from the Red Line Project, citing a written policy that they are not allowed to comment on/about competitive situations. 

Jackalope, Joy Cafe, and Bridgeport Coffeehouse also refused interview requests due to their business policies. Regardless of business size, similar policies are put into place when it comes to competitors and their business.

Jackalope’s customizable and engaging menu

With another Starbucks just less than two miles away in Bronzeville, Bartman sees how busy this location is without the convenience of a drive-thru, he says there is no doubt the 31st and Halsted streets will do well.


Starbucks in Bridgeport

“It seems wrong for Starbucks to become the dominant player here, as the beverages at the local establishments are cheaper and arguably better.”

Leonardo Kekic, a third-year business major student at the University of Illinois of Chicago, said that tending to this vacant lot and opening of Starbucks will in fact, raise the value of the neighborhood and allow more traffic to flow into these smaller, community based businesses. 

He explained that once there are several businesses in a certain area, it will attract customers as they see that the neighborhood and its businesses are thriving. Someone will Google “Starbucks near me” once they are in the area and when they drive through the neighborhood they will see all types of storefronts that might allow them to be curious about checking out one day.

“If I weren’t familiar with the area and had the choice between Starbucks and a local business, I would most likely get my coffee from Starbucks,” he said.  “It’s a popular company and of course people will stick to what they know.”

Take a look at where all the Cafe’s in Bridgeport at located via Google MyMaps:


Starbucks is ahead in the monopolistic competition and Kekic continues to comment on how due to their success, they can further continue to overpricely charge drinks and continue to stay ahead of the competition.

“The chances of Jackalope, Bridgeport Coffee, and other local businesses failing once Starbucks moves into the neighborhood is very low,” says Kekic.

Check out the 360 view of the vacant lot for the upcoming #Starbucks development on 31st and Halsted Street.

Irina and Andre Khaymovich have ran a family business supplying coffee to local retailers for six years. Business Management Masters recipient, Andre and his wife Irina have started their business in Moscow, Russia back in 2012 and are now based in Chicago

Their products are imported coffee beans from Valencia, Spain and now they supply coffee on Amazon and are testing the traffic throughout Fresh Farms.

Their coffee is popular throughout Europe. The brand has a sponsorship from Manchester United. Most of their business is from overseas as Cafe Silvestre can be easily accessible on Amazon.

According to National Real Estate Investor online article, “Amid slowing growth in an increasingly crowded market, coffee chain powerhouse Starbucks announced it will close 150 underperforming, company-operated

Iced Coffee from Jackalope Coffee Shop

U.S stores in 2019… But this is a case of opening too many stores too close together”. Local grown coffee shops offer a more personable experience as does brewing your own coffee at home.


Andre and Irina themselves, are fans of Starbucks coffee as it is quick and around every corner but prefer the taste of freshly brewed at home coffee. “Branding isn’t the issue, it’s the accessibility” notes Andre.

“Time and money play a big contribution to exactly what you’re investing in”. Andre mentions. “When you’re in a hurry and need your daily fix, I can pick one out of the five Starbucks locations I have in the corner of my house and get my quick wake-up call. I don’t even stop to think that I can go out of my way to a personalizable coffee shop when Starbucks is entirely ahead as a monopoly. My coffee from Spain is tasteful, but waking up at 5 am to brew it myself, clean up, and

Logo taken inside of the Starbucks located in Bridgeport

disturb my wife with the noise coming from the machine? The three minute walk to Starbucks directly around the corner of my job will do”.

Looking also at the poll posted on Twitter asking about locals go-to preference when it comes to coffee, Starbucks is in a major lead. Following Dunkin’ and Local Coffee Shop as far behind competitor to others. Our Twitter audience is mainly millennials, so that says a lot about who is going where.

There have been some comments going around town in regards to Starbucks having an internal policy which indicates they will offer a heavy buyout all local coffee houses within “x-distance” to prevent competition and reduce neighborhood negative connotation.

“If you have a good product, people will always find a way to come back to it” says Irina Khaymovich.

Top 10 Interesting Tourist Attractions in Chicago

(Image via The Chicago Tribune)

Chicago is home to an immense amount of attractions that draw in tourists from all over the world. As of 2018, Chicago was ranked by Conde Nast Traveler in their annual Readers’ Choice Awards, to be named the number one city of U.S travel destinations. With Chicago containing a diverse population, it’s well-known attractions are meant for everyone to come and enjoy. Even if you’ve been living in Chicago for years, check out this map and check off things you’re still yet to do. Sometimes, it’s okay to be a tourist in your own city!

The Fight Between Chicago’s Weather VS Chicago Public School and American Influence on Immigration

CPS/Chicago Weather: Schools all over the Chicagoland area close in response to life-threatening temperature levels. All schools apart of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were announced to be closed Wednesday and Thursday of the last week of January. With wind chills dropping to a comparison of a low 50 below zero, CPS had no choice but to prioritize student’s safety.

Wind Chill Forecast for January 30th, 2018.

Following that, Chicago weather is shown to expect snow, sleet and freezing rain starting on Monday, going into Wednesday. Counties like Cook, DeKalb, DuPage and Kane are shown to involve ice having an affect on travelors. Roads will be impacted by freezing rain and a mix of snow, increasing the dangers to commuters going to and from locations.

Chicago Weather overall has a higher audience than Chicago Public Schools. It however, comes to no surprise that they have similar trend rates. “Chicago Weather” is a common search term as we are going to continue facing mixed signals from what the weather exactly wants from us! In result, as temperatures continue to fall and the weather continues to affect our every day lives, Chicago Public Schools will be there to operate accordingly based on Chicago Weather.

Interest in CPS has gone up accordingly to interest in Chicago Weather around January 24th and January 28th to the 29th. With record breaking wind chills during that last week of January, CPS is seen to increase significantly in trends and continue to level off back to an average search amount. While “Chicago Weather” continues to stay a relevant search term, it is seen to increase immensely around that period of January 28th to the 29th and continue to stay highly relevant for the next couple of days, before dropping down to a lower average around February 3rd.

Trend comparison between CPS and Chicago Weather can be predicted to increase in unison as the weather continues to worsen throughout the month of February. Fingers crossed from a fellow UIC student (who also commutes), that we have more snow days.

American Influence on Immigration: Donald Trump, our 45th president, is seen to be a frequent trending topic all across news platforms and social media. However, it is seen on February 4th that lyrical genius, 21 Savage, surpasses Donald Trump on trend data.

Shockingly enough, “Immigration” is not as quite a popular trending topic as Trump has been the entire month of January. But trend rate is shown to increase a bit more around the time 21 Savage gains popularity with his relevancy across the United States.

Congress has authorized a total of 40,000 undocumented immigrants to be held by ICE, but as of Febuary 6th according to the Senate Appropriations Committee, 49,057 immigrants are being held in ICE detention facilities. As it is shown in the Google Trends graph, the field of study of “Immigration” is starting to slightly increase as more news and attention is being brought upon about immigration. Along with Donald Trump, as he hits a sharp peak around the first week of February as he continues to share his opinions on platforms throughout, mainly Twitter.

Trump and the Trump Administration wants to increase federal funding to help provide room for 52,000 detention beds while democrats want to take it from 40,000 to a possible 35,500. Rapper, 21 Savage, reaches a high in peak of trends around February 3rd as he has been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta amid discovering he has over stayed his visa and is actually a United Kingdom resident. Ties with how ICE treats immigrants and how they go about things starts a peak in curiosity with Americans all over the United States as increases the “immigration” search trend.

There is definitely a high correlation between how certain Americans play a role in society, and how what they have to say can affect highly what other Americans take interest in. Donald Trump has a large following and has impacted who and why a certain group of individuals have voted for him to be president based on his claims to “make America great again”. Similar to 21 Savage, who’s arrest peaked interest with American’s wanting to learn more about ICE and immigration and how someone can live in America for over 12 years, but still be taken back to their own country. No matter your amount of time in the US, famous or not, ICE will not allow you to stay and 21 Savages arrest has opened the eyes of many, as Donald Trump has caused a majority of many, to just roll.

Quinn: MAP Grants Critical For Low-Income Students


Pat Quinn photo
Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

Continue reading “Quinn: MAP Grants Critical For Low-Income Students”