Dining in a Hurry-Up World

April 18, 2017

Repost from ChicagoNow, by Barbara Revsine

The welcome mat is always out and the house made croissants are always fresh and flaky at Cupitol in downtown Evanston and Cupitol in Streeterville. Both neighborhoods are in growth mode, with residential housing options multiplying rapidly. And while neither area is suffering from a restaurant drought, owner Sellia Georges says Cupitol occupies a niche where there’s always room for one more.

Cupitol partners a quick- serve format with separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All three offer a mix of grab- and- go and cooked- to- order options, and as a result, the restaurants can easily accommodate their guests, whatever their schedules. That’s especially important in our hurry-up world, where schedules and dining patterns are continually changing. Check out the scene on a weekday, and it’s obvious that more people are eating in restaurants on an everyday basis than ever before. The shift is especially apparent in the morning.

Pre- Starbucks and the advent of the portable office, people typically ate breakfast at home, at least on weekdays. Juice, cereal, toast and coffee, the line-up was short, simple and boring. That’s changed, not for everyone, but for enough people to create a sizeable market.
At Cupitol, where the eggs are cooked to order, the ham is cut off the bone and the pastries are made at Sellia’s family’s bakery, the menu is as customer friendly on Monday as it is on Sunday. So is the 7am starting time.

The diversity continues as the day progresses. Hot and cold sandwiches, soups and entrée salads are available all day. And at 4 pm, when the dinner menu kicks in, the mix includes everything from skirt steak and pasta to fish dishes made with sustainably caught fish. It’s an “everybody” kind of menu in a “somebody” kind of place.