Korean coffee franchise to open site on UI campus

Korean coffee franchise to open site on UI campus

URBANA — Korea's largest coffee franchise, Caffe Bene, plans to open a cafe at the northeast corner of Nevada and Gregory streets in Urbana, according to Jill Guth, director of commercial leasing/marketing for JSM Development.

Caffe Bene has leased 2,600 square feet on the southern end of the Gregory Place East building for a cafe expected to open late this fall, Guth said.

Caffe Bene has more than 850 cafes globally — most of them in South Korea, as well as 55 in China, seven in the United States and two in the Philippines, according to JSM.

This is expected to be Caffe Bene's first location in Illinois. Other U.S. locations are concentrated in the New York, Los Angeles and Dallas areas.

Besides offering various blends of coffee, Caffe Bene serves Belgian waffles, Italian gelatos and honey breads, according to its website.

The chain, which says it models itself after traditional European coffee houses, was founded in 2008 by Sun-Kwom Kim.

Other ground-floor occupants of Gregory Place East include JMC Healthcare, No. 7 Salon & Spa, J. Gumbo's and Fira Boutique. Leases for two other spaces are expected to be announced soon, Guth said.

Ground-floor tenants of Gregory Place West — a similar development across Gregory Street — include Subway, Basil Thai, Rosati's, Ko-Fusion and Merry-Ann's Diner, she added.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (1):Restaurants