Initial Visit: May 3rd, 2021
Description: A literal house converted to a coffee house.
After an 8-hour meeting for work (with a lunch break), I needed some coffee to revitalize me. I resorted to Yelp to point me in a direction that wasn’t Starbucks or Dunkin’. As much as I love those places, when I am out of town, I want a taste of what the locals offer. I was losing hope as my search was bringing up nothing that wasn’t a restaurant that happened to serve coffee until I saw Ashbary. I didn’t bother looking at the reviews and picked the place since it looked cool in the one photo I saw and it was coffee first.
As I sat at the lights, I was looking at Ashbary and thought to myself that this place had to be unique on the inside as it is on the outside. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I parked my card and made my way in. Upon entering, I was greeted by the cashier and the punk music pouring out from the speakers. Not only that, but the place screamed punk does coffee. Not only coffee but they had a plethora of ice creams to choose from. Not only that but they seemingly had a sandwich/panini menu to order from. Not only that but there were slot machines to play on. Not only that but the menu seemed to offer coffee mixed with ice cream.
I was too awestruck by everything to properly ask the guy behind the counter what half the menu is and settled on a large hot Americano with a chocolate biscotti stick and a gluten-free cookie. The coffee didn’t take long to make and once I had it, I sat down to enjoy my biscotti stick while I continued to take in the… everything. That’s when I notice the panini menu and regretted not ordering something off there as I was hungry (but still had my leftover Chinese back in my hotel room).
When the biscotti stick was gone, I gathered up my things and left. I had a gym reservation at the hotel that I needed to make and my coffee had to wait to be properly tasted until my gym visit was over. You bet the second I walked in to my room, the coffee was in my hand and I was taking big swigs from it. With americanos, they tend to be bitter as they are just espresso and water. Sounds disgusting on paper but it’s my current favorite way to drink coffee if it’s available. This was surprisingly smooth and might be the best one I’ve ever had. It’s hard to say since it cooled down a bit due to my gym excursion but even taking that in, it was super delicious and hit the spot and then some. As I tried to not chug my coffee, I tried the gluten-free cookie. I bought it on a whim to help support local businesses and it complimented the coffee in a great way as it was just a little bit dry and that was rectified by taking a sip of coffee.
I can’t help but feel that my one visit to Ashbary is not enough to really take in the place. Between the punk music playing, the creative food offerings, and the general odd decor… you just don’t get a good feel for place like this on one visit.
My time in Burr Ridge ends tomorrow (for now) but should I need to come back for work reasons, re-visiting Ashbary will be a high priority on my list. Between the potential ice cream/coffee combos they seem to offer on the menu and the paninis on the other menu, I feel a second visit is warranted when the opportunity arises.
Oh, they also offer beer. This place really is unique.
8695 Archer Ave #1
Willow Springs, IL 60480