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Hidden Pearl Coffee shop to hold ribbon cutting for re-opening

Hidden Pearl Coffee shop to hold ribbon cutting for re-opening

After having to move locations and having redevelopment plans fall through, Hidden Pearl Coffee is coming back bigger and better for its fifth anniversary. Owners of the coffee shop will hold a ribbon-cutting Tuesday afternoon to celebrate its reopening. 

“When I first opened the coffee shop, I didn't know what I was getting into and it was quickly really clear to me that it was more of a community center than a coffee shop,” he said. 

The shop had a small re-opening in December and plans to have a grand re-opening later this year. Formerly known as Hidden Pearl Cafe, the coffee shop closed in January 2017 after its lease ended to make way for the McHenry Downtown Theater development.

Co-owner of Hidden Pearls Coffee Dan Kearns said he was ready to give up re-opening the store in the long struggle to get the new location at at 1250 N. Green St. redeveloped. The city shot down their redevelopment proposal in April 2018. But the support of those from the community who reached out and told Kearns and the team what the shop meant to them, changed Kearns' vision for the shop.  

“We're reopening because enough people kept me going. It's like every time I'd be like, Oh gosh, we should just forget it, I get a text from somebody that would say something like, ‘I'm sick of Dunkin Donuts’ or something like that ... I mean, it's what I love to do,” Kearns said. 

Hidden Pearl Coffee will occupy 3,600 square feet in the 7,000-square-foot building, where a new restaurant plans to take up the rest of the space, Kearns said.The coffee shop formerly operated out of a 1,300-square-foot space, so this will be an upgrade with room to fill an entertainment gap in McHenry County, Kearns said.

Hidden Pearl Coffee will now serve alcohol and "upscale appetizers," he said.

For many, Hidden Pearl Coffee isn’t just a coffee shop. It’s a gathering spot for people with different backgrounds, political and religious views, Kearns said. The shop hosts political events, religious workshops, creative writing workshops, book signings, among others. 

“When I first opened the coffee shop, I didn't know what I was getting into and it was quickly really clear to me that it was more of a community center than a coffee shop,” he said. 

The team now is planning to expand the “community center.” A "Talent Gallery" for 150-180 people will feature live entertainment such as poetry nights and comedy nights. They also plan to open a youth bookstore mid-march, and art events/galleries in the added event space. All revenue from the youth bookstore will be donated to a charity, Kearns said. 

“We have kind of a welcoming space where you can be yourself," he said.

If Kearns decided not to re-open the shop, he said he’d have to move out of McHenry. 

“We had committed to this project and a lot of people just wanted to see it get to its completion. And so I felt like we were really super obligated to finish it,” Kearns said.

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