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Intelligentsia’s Classy Response

According to a personal email from Intelligentsia CEO Doug Zell received this morning, Intelligentsia has decided to compromise on the weekday evening hours of its Randolph Street store and remain open, beginning next Monday, until 8 p.m. for the benefit of its growing residential customer base. For the time being, they will nix yesterday’s sudden implementation of a neighborhood-unfriendly 7 p.m. closing time. Two words: Thank You. We need more after-work neighborhood hangouts like Intelligentsia around here, not fewer.

It’s up to you now, dear neighbors, to give Intelligentsia a try on weekday evenings. If you haven’t already, you don’t know what you’re missing (and if you do, we’ll be back at 9 p.m. in no time).

From Doug Zell:


I am responding to your blog. I appreciate your issues regarding our operating hours and am slightly saddened that you did not contact anyone at Intelligentsia, before posting. I find the internet odd at times in that it does not always allow a dialogue to transpire which arrives at a mutually satisfying result and honestly, I find your criticism stinging and at times over the top.

That being said I wanted to thank you for your loyalty and let you know that we are keenly aware of the neighborhood developing around us and very much want to be a part of it. I agree that we should allow some time to pass in order to build the business in the evening and agree that our decision to close at 7:00 P.M. Monday-Thursday was a bit hasty. As a result, and based on your comments, our hours (beginning next Monday June 19th) will be Monday -Thursday 6:00 A.M.-8:00 P.M., Friday 6:00 A.M-10:00 P.M., Saturday 7:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M. and Sunday 7:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M. If you have issues in the future, please feel free to contact me or our VP of retail, Marcus Boni directly. My email is dzell (at) and his is mboni (at) We are always interested in hearing what our customers have to say.

Best regards,

Doug Zell
Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, Inc.

Note those emails, folks, if you’d like to thank Doug or Marcus yourselves, or otherwise let them know your thoughts about the Randolph Street store.

Stinging? Over the top? You came between me and your coffee. You know, your coffee, the best coffee in the city? If your fans are rabid for your java, you only have yourselves to blame. Looks like a compliment, to me.

Besides, no one ever said I wasn’t a bitch.

Categories: Food and Drink LIFE

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Michael Thaddeus Doyle

I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.

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5 replies

  1. Caffeine and the Art of Dumpster Diving

    (Photo: The common destiny of a ubiquitous 20% off coupon.) True to their word, Intelligentsia Coffee is now keeping the Millennium Park store on Randolph Street open until 8 p.m. weekdays (10 p.m. weekends were never in doubt). Monday…

  2. btw…you were anything BUT “stinging” and “over the top” in your post. Someone needs to grow some skin, huh? I have a feeling if you were to write a real stinging and over the top post, Mr. Zell would be in therapy right now. In a padded room. With a teddy bear.

  3. Good Customer Service

    A local blogger at Chicago Carless complained about the hours of an Intelligentsia coffee shop in his neighborhood, and he got results. Specifically, he got an email from the company CEO saying that they were going to extend the hours a bit and were al…

  4. That’s great that you got a personal response based on your blog. That’s the kind of thing that makes me go out of my way as a customer to patronize a specific place.

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