Dollop and Halfwit Join Forces: More Coffee On Horizon Following Cafe Closure and Roastery Expansion

Alisa Hauser
Apr 9, 2018 · 3 min read
Travis Schaffner, founder of The Wormhole and Dan Weiss, founder of Dollop. [Provided]

LOGAN SQUARE — Halfwit Coffee Roasters in Logan Square plans to close on Sunday and reopen a cafe later this year next to Margie’s Candies as part of an expansion and partnership with Dollop Coffee Co., it was announced on Monday by java makers Travis Schaffner and Dan Weiss.

The Cold War-inspired Halfwit cafe and roastery opened in November at 3431 W. Fullerton Ave. If everything goes as planned, the cafe portion of the business will reopen in late September at 1965 N. Milwaukee Ave. in a 2,190 square-foot storefront along the border of Bucktown and Logan Square.

“We opened this cafe and roastery and it’s not big enough. This will allow us to have a bigger space for roasting,” Weiss said. Halfwit’s Fullerton roasting operation (not open to public) will move to a 7,000 square-foot warehouse at 4200 W. Diversey in Logan Square.

“The Halfwit and Dollop team will merge and start to create coffee for both companies at the new roastery [on Diversey]. That will be happening in June or July,” Weiss said.

Schaffner, Halfwit’s founder and creator of The Wormhole in Wicker Park, recently joined forces with Weiss, owner of the Dollop Coffee Co. chain.

“It’s nice to have synergies with another business. Joining forces will assure that we can continue to grow and increase quality and customer experiences in Chicagoland and beyond,” Schaffner said.

Schaffner, who owns the building where Halfwit’s existing cafe is located, says that he’s brought on a new tea-related tenant lined up to replace Halfwit that will be annnounced soon.

Halfwit Coffee Roasters/Facebook

Though Dollop has been serving Metropolis Coffee since 2010, Weiss said as Dollop has grown, he’s been wanting to “make a move into the roasting universe.”

“For a long time and because Metropolis was so great, I was hestitant to want to go into roasting. Dollop recently switched from Metropolis’ Red Line espresso to the Halfwit Triforce and it’s been going very well. We still carry Metropolis at Dollop. We love Metropolis and will continue at the very least to always have some Metropolis available at Dollop,” Weiss said.

Rather than reinvent the wheel and try to create a roastery from the ground up, Weiss said he turned to Schaffner, whom he’s known for several years.

“We partnered up with a company that’s been doing it that we respect and has a great handle on the business,” Weiss said.

The new Halfwit location, in the former Cole Taylor bank branch, will be a cafe/bar hybrid and try to get a liquor license as well as offer an outdoor patio, Weiss said.

Currently there are 11 Dollops in the city including a new one at Erie and Wells that opened last week. Future spaces include a forthcoming Dollop at 801 S. Financial in the South Loop set to open in May and another across from the Groupon building at 853 N. Larabee St. scheduled to debut in late fall.

Future home of te to-be-relocated Halfwit cafe. It will occupy one of two available storefront in this building. [Baum Realty brochure screenshot]

The Pipeline

very sporadic posts from a Portlander and former Chicagoan

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