Little Sandwich House is open in Bronzeville

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DeCarlo Pittman wanted to add variety to Bronzeville when he opened Little Sandwich House last month. Simplicity is key to its menu, which includes morning dishes such as mascarpone berry toast (jam, mixed berries, mint), Chuck Berry toast (peanut butter, bananas, almonds, honey) and bagels. at the lox.

Pittman is a Chicago industry veteran who has spent more than a decade running house fronts at places like Big Star and the Violet Hour cocktail hotspot in Wicker Park. He’s now channeling those experiences into a cafe designed to fill a void in the neighborhood where Pittman has lived with his family since 2005.

“It all started when I decided that our neighborhood was lacking a few things… I saw the need for a good coffee with good deli sandwiches – the kind of place you would see in Logan Square or Wicker Park, ”says Pittman, who spent 11 years as a host at One Off Hospitality’s taco bar.

The small service counter is bright and cozy with dark wood floors accented by a wall of greenery and bright orange chairs. It can accommodate around 30 people inside between tables, benches and four swivel stools along the counter. There are seats outside too carefully arranged behind a white fence.

Two met sitting at a wooden table, smiling

Little Sandwich House co-owner DeCarlo Pittman (right) and chef Donte Humphrey.

Pittman learned a lot with One Off, the award-winning restaurant company by James Beard, the group’s co-owners, Terry Alexander and Donnie Madia, cheered it on with Madia posting on the opening of the cafe last month. Pittman and his wife Mandy opened the venue after a year and a half of preparations, finding a space at 411 E. Oakwood Boulevard. There are smoothies and espressos from the Michigan roaster Littlefoot Cafe as the cafe bar is run by Willow james, a local theater artist and TikTok café influencer with over 25,000 subscribers.

The lunch offerings include six different salads and a number of sandwiches, ranging from roast beef (provolone, red onion, chimichurri) and classic BLT to a spicy fig sandwich (prosciutto, jalapeno, arugula). Pittman is bringing in One Off’s quality Publican bread for sandwiches and toast.

The intimate charm and relatively close quarters are intentional – Pittman believes the pandemic is causing the industry to shift towards small spaces and away from large dining rooms. Costs play a role in this equation, but at the end of the day, he wants his customers to have a more intimate experience.

“I like small places – I like to sit at the bar and feel like I’m in a ma-and-pa type place,” he says. “These are the people who are really proud of what they are up to.”

A lively café area with smiling employees

Pittman’s pride in the café menu.

Little Sandwich House joins a small but growing community of coffee shops in Bronzeville, including locations of the local mini-coffee chain Sip & Savor, Peach’s Restaurant and Carver 47 inside the Little Black Pearl cultural and educational center . There are also plans to open a new wine bar, Bronzeville Winery, next month.

Little sandwich house, 411 E. Oakwood Boulevard, open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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