One cold, early Saturday morning in 2003, Philip Hale became Metropolis Cafe’s first paying customer. He was won over by the same charm that so many have experienced here since.
When Hale, vice president of government affairs at Loyola University, walked in, comfort was the first word to pop into his mind, he says. “It looked like you could get a cup of coffee and curl up with a good book, work on a report or just hang out with some friends,” said Hale, even though the coffee house was empty at the time. The second thing he noticed: our serious selection of teas, something he hadn’t always been able to find at other coffee shops. Yes, it’s true. Metropolis Cafe’s first paying customer ordered a sandwich and a cup of English breakfast tea–not coffee.
Hale used his 20 minutes as our first-and-only customer getting to know our co-owners, Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss. After this brief time, he knew the cafe was going to be a student favorite and he was right. We’re glad to welcome students from our multiple local universities.
DYK?: Metropolis Cafe even has extended hours during Loyola’s finals week so students can squeeze in some extra-caffeinated study hours.
We’ve made regular improvements and updates to Metropolis Cafe since Hale first sipped that English breakfast tea, but you get the same quick, friendly service from patient, accepting and non-judgmental staff. Our baristas know what they’re doing as far as the coffee, but we also put a premium on seeing the person behind the customer and taking a moment to say hello.
When he walks into the cafe these days, Hale sees a lot of changes since that first day. From major remodels to rotating monthly art shows, he’s seen the life of Metropolis Cafe from the beginning to today, and we appreciate it deeply. Although he is not the regular customer to the degree he was when living nearby, Hale is still friends with the Dreyfuss’s and even helped reintroduce Metropolis Coffee as part of Loyola’s catering option with Aramark during their contract renewal.
It seems that Hale’s first order of tea at Metropolis Cafe wasn’t last and we look forward to serving him–and you–many more.