Cafe with homemade gelato, pastries & more opening in Jefferson Park
by BRIAN NADIG
Lupe Tsironis chose Jefferson Park as the home for a new homemade dessert shop after attending the 2018 Chicago Fringe Festival which was held at various locations throughout the business district.
“While we were walking around …, we thought it would be nice to have something open here, and we decided to give it a try.”said Tsironis, who recently gave up her 28-year career as a legal secretary to concentrate on the new business. “We also like the diversity here.”
In mid-June Lupe and her husband Vasili are planning to open IX-CHEL Frozen Delights at 4968 N. Milwaukee Ave., located just to the south of the Kennedy Expressway. It is named after the 16-century goddess of medicine in ancient Maya culture.
Near the Jefferson Park Metra Station, IX-CHEL’s interior feels like a train station waiting room. On the wall are clocks showing the time in Chicago, Singapore and Warsaw and long benches, which are commonly found in train station lobbies and which in this case were once church pews.
The café will feature at least eight flavors of gelato made on premises daily, coffee, smoothies, juices and paletas, or Mexican ice pops.
Specialty items include marshmallow gelato dipped in chocolate and covered by a graham cracker crust, green apple gelato covered with caramel with peanuts and non-alcoholic spritzer-type drinks, including one similar in taste to a Green River that is made from fennel and Persian cucumbers.
As for pastries, IX-CHEL is teaming up with visually impaired artist Stella De Genova, who Tsironis said she met more than 15 years ago while sharing a taxicab. De Genova will be using her cooking talents to create a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake, mini-muffin cheesecake and an old family recipe biscotti, Tsironis said.
Hours have not been finalized, but the shop is expected to open around 11 a.m. and look for an outdoor bench in front of the shop so that customers can enjoy their gelato outdoors, Tsironis said.
Several years ago the couple operated a yogurt shop at Midway Airport.