Arbor Vitae Growing on Naperville's Riverwalk

By Vitello, Barbara | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 3, 1997 | Go to article overview

Arbor Vitae Growing on Naperville's Riverwalk


Vitello, Barbara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Barbara Vitello Daily Herald Staff Writer

What You Need to Know

- Name: Arbor Vitae Java & Juice

- Location: 111 W. Jackson (across from the Riverwalk), Naperville, (630) 778-9090

- Parking: In the lot adjacent

- Directions: I-355 south to Ogden, west on Ogden to Washington, south to Jackson. West on Jackson a couple of blocks to the coffeehouse

- Area: Western suburbs

- Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

- Cover: None, however bands do accept donations

- Libations: Juice $1.75 to $2.50; combination juice drinks $2.25 to $4.25; chai, ginger root, ice tea and wheat grass $1.50 to $3. Smoothies are $3.50. Coffee, espresso, mocha, cappuccino, latte, cider, hot chocolate, tea etc. from a 95-cent cup of coffee to the $2.40 latte espresso. Specialty treats are $3.10; the special apple, banana, strawberry, dry milk, wheat germ, protein powder and spinach concoction is $4.25

- Edibles: Salads $2.75; hummus, baba ganoush $3.50; mesquite turkey, veggie roll-ups, tuna, chicken salad sandwiches $2.99 to $4.50

- Music: Anything from folk to blues and jazz to pop and alternative beginning about 8 p.m. Saturday

- The crowd: Mostly suburban, teenage to middle-age

- When to go: Any time

- What to wear: Casual

- Specials: The coffee is fresh roasted daily. Massages courtesy of the Ishman Body Care Center available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, ($10 for 10 minutes, $20 for 20 minutes)

When the cappuccino craze erupted several years ago, coffee shops operated by national chains appeared overnight on nearly every street corner.

For a time, at least, it seemed that the corporate giants would overrun the independent "mom-and-pop" coffeehouse.

Thankfully, they didn't and places like Arbor Vitae Java & Juice survived.

Originally located in the mall near the Ogden Six movie theaters, Arbor Vitae (the name means "tree of life") co-owners Fran Pryor, Guy Darienzo and Steve Keye relocated to downtown Naperville last February.

"I came in one day two years ago at Ogden Six," says Brian Woolverton, 37 one of the regulars, "and they got me hooked on juice drinks."

When the cafe moved, Woolverton came along. He wasn't the only one.

"We knew we wanted to be down here," says Fran Pryor. "This city is unbelievable. I had no idea downtown Naperville was so vibrant."

Arbor Vitae moved into the former home of Cafe Trieste, a long-time coffeehouse which had earned a reputation as a kids' hang-out.

To attract a more diverse clientele, they brightened the place up, added vegetarian fare to the menu and began roasting coffee daily on the premises, developing a distinct house blend in the process.

Now Arbor Vitae attracts everyone from couples and college students to families and health conscious young professionals. Music fans come on Saturday evenings; business folks drop by in the afternoon and dessert lovers, well, let's just say they're welcome any time. …

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