Honey Berry Cafe is fully in business and has begun serving the community after recently opening its doors near Loyola campus.
Honey Berry Now Open For Business in Rogers Park After Bulldog’s Closure
Breakfast chain Honey Berry Cafe anticipates business from the Loyola community after it launched its newest Rogers Park location Sept. 13 at 6606 N. Sheridan Road. This location was previously home to Bulldog Ale House, which closed its doors this past August, The Phoenix previously reported.
Both Honey Berry and Bulldog’s are owned by the same umbrella company, WeEat Hospitality Group. Dani Landau, director of operations for WeEat, said Bulldog’s closure in Rogers Park stemmed from a negative trend in sales over a long period of time.
Landau said keeping the Rogers Park Bulldog’s open was becoming difficult due to the high costs of labor and inventory such a restaurant requires.
“It was trending in a different direction than the owner was liking,” Landau said. “I think his decision was because the amount of labor that goes into breeding a Bulldog and the amount of inventory that a Bulldog requires.”
Honey Berry has eight existing locations in Illinois, with three listed as “coming soon” on their website in Aurora, Bolingbrook and Rolling Meadows.
Bulldog’s website has five Illinois locations listed, two of which have the same addresses as the tentative Aurora and Bolingbrook Honey Berrys. The managers of these Bulldog’s told The Phoenix they were not sure whether their restaurant would be converted. In Rolling Meadows, a Bulldog’s was already renovated into a Honey Berry, The Phoenix reported.
Landau did not respond to The Phoenix for comment on these locations.
Bulldog’s location on South State Street also shut down and was replaced by Honey Berry in 2020 due to looting and intense damage to the property back, Landau said. This taught the company as a whole to be strategic about where their restaurants and cafes are placed, in terms of crime rates and rent costs, according to Landau.
The Rogers Park location is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week, which helps lessen the risk of their business being affected by crime, according to Landau. Transforming this location into a Honey Berry Cafe seemed like the best step moving forward for the company, especially in an area with a younger population, according to Landau.
Employees at this location were unable to interview with The Phoenix.
“We know that the Honey Berry concept is flourishing,” Landau said. “I want to say it’s trending, so we wanted to give the college kids some brunch.”
Maritza Ruiz, a manager for Honey Berry, said the restaurant is providing a 10% discount for any Loyola student who shows their ID at checkout. They also have plans to continue giving back to the Loyola community and are currently in communication with a fraternity on campus about a potential sponsorship, Landau said.
Ruiz said she has worked at multiple Honey Berry locations and that it has been nice to see the young Loyola community dine in at this location, while having a new place to study and mingle with friends.
“This is like a friendly restaurant,” Ruiz said. “Each location is a little bit different. I really like this one. it’s just beautiful.”
The cafe is generally busy on weekends and has wait times which can be viewed through their Yelp waitlist, Landau said. In addition to dining in, he said this location plans to utilize delivery options such as DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub.
They are still in the process of hiring and looking for new employees who have weekend availability, according to Landau. New hires are currently settling in and learning the ropes of the cafe and how everything works, Ruiz said.
The Honey Berry menu includes items like signature omelets and a large variety of different-flavored pancakes.
Landau said a popular item on their menu is their Signature Honeyberry pancakes which have a berry filling and vanilla creme garnish. Landau said the overall mission of this cafe is to allow people to relax and try a tasty breakfast item.
“Pancakes make people happy,” Landau said. “It really goes to all different generations.”
Fourth-year Amina Delal said this cafe seems like a good place to try especially when her family comes to visit. She said it’s nice to know they offer student discounts as eating outside of campus can be expensive.
Fourth-year Maya Heim said she knows Bulldog’s attracted a lot of business from Loyola students. Heim suggested the company hand out free samples to students on campus to garner more attention and entice people to check it out.
Landau said he wants everyone to come try out the restaurant. He said they are simply happy to be here and be able to serve the Rogers Park community.
Featured image by Daphne Kraushaar / The Phoenix