Are the coffee wars about to start?

As one who drinks gallons of coffee and is well known for carting a Styrofoam coffee cup wherever I go, I wonder if anyone makes coffee anymore at home. Now, I must admit that although I get at least one cup a day of bought coffee, I do make the powdered stuff at home. What brand? Whatever is on sale.

Although I still have my old Sunbeam coffee percolator which makes wonderful coffee (and has the great scent of brewing coffee which comes along with it), it is just much easier using my Sunbeam Hotshot to make the necessary one cup of water before it shuts itself off.

This was a step up from using hot water in a tea kettle which I, periodically, forgot to shut off, only to have the kettle go into stove meltdown. I figured that, at some point, this would lead to a fire department visit, so I gave up on the kettle.

My grandmother always had coffee percolating, and, from the time I was little, I was drinking coffee. She even flavored the milk in my baby bottle, because I did not want to drink the milk straight up. It has been a long love affair with java, and, no, I never subscribed to the old wives’ tale that coffee at a youthful age would stunt growth. Now we hear that coffee may be helpful in fending off Alzheimer’s as well as Type II diabetes-no small benefit if, indeed, that is the case.

Our township is laden with places to buy coffee. The mini marts all carry it, not to mention that Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are using new and exciting coffees in a bidding war for our dollar. There is a Starbucks laying claim to North Riverside Park Mall. And, no Amtrak commute would be complete without a genuine Grumpy’s special in the early-morning hours.

And so, it was a hot topic at the post office last week when there was talk that a Starbucks might come to Riverside itself. When issues like this reach the post office, one knows that there is something serious going on, if it is true.

The folks in the post office were very defensive of Grumpy’s, as well they should be. After all, Grumpy’s is a small business trying to make a go of it in a village not known as a commercial hotbed.

Grumpy’s is a great Riverside favorite for not only coffee, but for great ice cream and soups and chilis and all sorts of wonderful goodies. Hey, we’re for Grumpy’s, and if some challenger wants to come to town, they’d better look out, as the Grumpy legions will have their day.

But then, the rumors of Starbucks have been floating around for more than a year, and nothing has happened.

We coffee fanciers will be walking sentry duty to see just how this turns out. Oh, we will patronize our mini marts, our McDonald’s in Berwyn and Lyons for coffee, as well as our Dunkin’ Donuts in Brookfield, North Riverside and Berwyn. But we also want Grumpy’s to know that no potential Starbucks is going to put them out of business.


On another and more serious note, our sympathies go out to former Brookfield Village Attorney Richard Billik, his son, Judge Billik and his daughter regarding the passing of their wonderful wife and mother, Ele.

Mrs. Billik was a well-known and loved gal who spent her entire life being nice to people and doing charitable endeavors. Mrs. Billik passed away last week, leaving those who knew her very saddened. She was a great lady and a Brookfield treasure.