Bourgeois Pig! Cafe, Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL 60614
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PIG: The Bourgeois Pig® Café was opened on a shoestring budget in May of 1993 by the president & founder of the company, F. Mason Green, then 28 years old. Having backpacked extensively throughout Europe after college graduation and visiting many incredible cafes, and then spending several years waiting tables on Russian Hill in San Francisco, Mason was inspired to open his own coffeehouse. He had seriously considered opening a cafe in San Francisco, but the city was already inundated with a multitude of great cafes. He also considered his highschool and college hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona...but it was too hot and just wasn't fitting for the type of place he wanted to open. A friend encouraged him to explore Chicago as an option, and he instantly fell in love with the city. He had found his new home as well as the birthplace of "The Pig".
Chicago has many great neighborhoods, but Mason happened by chance upon a great little store for rent at 748 W. Fullerton Avenue, which was smack dab in the middle of a charming and upscale neighborhood that is called Lincoln Park. Being across the street from Children's Memorial Hospital and 1 block away from DePaul University, the location was perfect and the price was right.
After several long months of hard work, and scouring the Midwest for antiques and furniture, he managed to pull it all together and open the doors using his last $100 of borrowed money for change in the cash register!
Sometime in 1995 Mason opened a second restaurant; a sandwich shop called The Scarlet Pumpernickel, which was located about 4 doors east of The Pig, at 738 W. Fullerton Pkwy. After realizing the shortcomings of operating two stores with very similar personalities, and twice the expenses, he decided to combine the two stores into one great place, The Bourgeois Pig® Café! The Pig was immediately successful with its newly expanded menu of sandwiches & salads, and the much larger seating capacity on two levels, as well as the wonderful new front patio seating areas, both upper and lower.
Our sandwich menu has grown tremendously from our original 8 named sandwiches to now more than 25. Additionally, after an initial 2 salad choices, we have mushroomed to a selection of more than 11! We have also delved into baking our own muffins, cookies, scones, biscotti, shortbreads, rice crispy treats, brownies, dessert bars, granola, quiche, baked omelettes, and other delicious treats. We do bake daily, and there is no rhyme or reason as to what flavor of treats we will have on hand from day to day, or from hour to hour, so please feel free to call us for flavor updates!
MEDIA EVENTS & EXPOSURE: The Bourgeois Pig® has been featured in many local publications, books and newspapers, several TV news programs, a new movie, and somewhat recently, we were showcased on the Food Network’s popular cable TV show, “Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels”! It’s true…
“Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels”: November, 2005: A spotlight focus on 6 of Chicago’s must see, Out of the Ordinary restaurants. She picked us! Can you believe it? Click here for more information...
Magazines: The Bourgeois Pig has been honored twice by Chicago Magazine, bestowed first as having "The Best Coffeeshop in Lincoln Park" in August of 2007; and most importantly, in November of 2007, our sandwich "The Sun Also Rises" was chosen as "One of the Top 124 Best Dishes in the City", sharing the ranks with such notable restaurants as Charlie Trotter's, Blackbird, Arun, and Everest, among others. Indeed, we were the only sandwich to make the list, and of that we are proud!
WGN News: 1994 or so: The Pig brought the morning news crew coffee, scones & muffins for their, “Morning Local Café” feature. We talked about the Bourgeois Pig® live, on the air! They announced our location and even showed a photo of the café. I sat at the news desk, on camera for several minutes, and my parents in Scottsdale, Arizona even watched it live. Pretty scary, but it was my big moment.
WGN News: 1995 or so: We were one of several local coffeehouses that were part of a news story collage on the “Iced Coffee Drink Craze” that was sweeping the nation at the time. It was a fast-forward style filming of 7 or 8 independent coffeehouses and their summer specialty iced coffee drink of choice. Ours was an iced Ghirardelli Chocolate Mocha…mmm.
Black Mail: This small, independent film was written and directed by Hurt McDermott. The Bourgeois Pig® was one of several places around Chicagoland that was the site of filming, both interior and exterior, on both floors, in August of 2006. One of our baristas, Kerry, even made her acting debut as a waitress, though we have to wait and see if she makes the final cut!
Books: The Bourgeois Pig® Café has been recommended in many local, national and international guide books, including but not limited to: Mr. Cheap’s Chicago, Let’s Go USA 2000, Eat.Shop.Chicago, 1st Edition, among numerous others, which I should have kept track of over the years, more than a dozen in all!
Newspapers: The Pig has been featured in many magazine and newspaper publications, including but not limited to: The Chicago Tribune: Showcased as one of the best BLT’s in Chicago, our triple decker sandwich, The Hobbit, was shown and discussed. We have also been highlighted in The Chicago Sun Times, Red Eye, The Real Chicago, The Reader, New City, Conscious Choice, among others.
Websites & Web Reviews: The Bourgeois Pig® Café has a multitude of listings and references all over the web. As a matter of fact, we won City Search’s Best Coffeehouse, editor’s choice, one year and have placed in the top 2-3 best in Chicago for that past several years running, based on customer votes! We also were voted by customers as one of the Top Coffeehouse in Chicago by AOL Online users.
EL DIRECTIONS: We are located about 1 ½ blocks east of the Fullerton Brown/Purple/Red Line Stop, on Fullerton. If you exit the El and walk east toward Lake Michigan, you will come to the huge 6-way intersection of Lincoln/Halsted/Fullerton. Pass through this intersection, you will be next to Corus Bank on the northeast corner of the intersection. Keep an easterly walk on Fullerton, and about 100 feet past the intersection you will probably notice a tall, antique style lamp post with a green copper pig hanging from it, and a small Eiffel Tower past that. That’s us! The café is set back from the street, because of our front patio, so you may not notice us until you come upon it. We are between the stores “Dilly Lilly” and “Planet Sub” on the north side of Fullerton, across the street from Children’s Memorial Hospital. Come on in!
PARKING: Unfortunately we do not have any “official” parking. I wish I could tell you about some secret place that you could safely park in this busy city, but alas…there is none. If you get here in the morning between say, 7am and 9am you will probably find parking fairly easily, or at least a meter. Burling Street is located just east of us, and you can park there from 9:30am to 6:30pm without a resident parking permit. If you can’t find a meter, try there. Weekends…good luck. Come early in the morning for best odds. Apparently you can park at Children’s Memorial Hospital at their Lincoln Street garage entrance, just south of our intersection on Lincoln, but you will have to pay unfortunately.
FUTURE ASPIRATIONS: Well, eventually we would like to have a Bourgeois Pig® Café on the corner of every street in America, just like our buddies; AND we would also like to have one in each of their restrooms as well, just in case.
We are kidding of course, however. The Pig will expand, and we have already begun looking for new locations in Chicago and other TOP SECRET cities around the country. We could tell you where, but then we would have to kill you, so we won’t. Let’s just say…west, north, east and south. We would like to open at least 5 to 7 more Bourgeois Pig® Café's in Chicago, all of them with the vintage feel that the current Bourgeois Pig® possesses. We want to expand but we want to do so without ever actually selling out. We do not ever want to lose all of the best qualities that make The Bourgeois Pig® Café. You will never ever find plastic chairs or tables at The Pig. You will never find inferior, cost cutting meat, bread or coffee at The Pig. You will never find robots working at The Pig. We are not that kind of a place, but you will always have plenty of other choices if that is what you want. What you will find here are friendly employees in a comfortable, homey atmosphere, serving damn good food and coffee at a fair price.
LOOKING FOR STOREFRONTS: If you have a beautiful vintage store, in good shape, to sell or lease in a cool part of town, at a reasonable price, on a swingin’ street, preferably on a corner, and having at least 1500-2000 square feet, by all means, drop us an email at: email@example.com
POTENTIAL INVESTORS: We are still looking for the right investor to take this concept to the next level. If you have the means and the wherewithal to invest in this venture and gain up to 49% ownership, then by all means drop us an email at the above address. Serious inquiries only of course.
CONTACT US: We are always interested in hearing any of your comments, questions, or complaints! Please feel free to email Mason directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Phone Line: 773-883-5282
that’s 883-JAVA, by the way…easy to remember eh?
Fax Order Line: 773-883-0889
Fax in your takeout order or catering order, and we will call you back to verify receipt.
Office Fax: 773-883-5170
All faxes not involving food orders.
Our Store Hours are:
Monday thru Friday: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Saturday: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm
Open all holidays EXCEPT: Thanksgiving and Christmas. We DO close early on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve & New Years Eve, usually at 6:00 pm.
EMAIL LIST: Please feel free to join our exclusive email list to receive discounts, coupons and announcements, including our occasional newsletter, The Pig Post. Only people on this extra special list will receive these coupons, such as half-offs and free drinks, etc. You should be honored to be on this great list! We swear by all that is holy that your email address will never ever be given out or sold to anybody else, ever; and that we will only use it every blue moon or less, for the purposes stated above. You can be removed at any time if you end up regretting it, I…Mason Green promise.