CHICAGO — Walking into the first-ever, brand new Nutella Cafe on Michigan Ave. is like walking into a jar of Nutella itself. The warm creamy white color on the walls is complemented by the dripping Nutella-colored embellishments on the ceiling, accented by hanging lights in the shape of flowers of the hazelnut plant.
Everything in the cafe is inspired by a jar of the chocolate and hazelnut goodness. Red accents evoke the feeling of dipping a spoon into a freshly opened jar, the bright red “Nutella” logo staring at you in the face.
“It’s designed to make you feel like you’re actually walking into a jar of Nutella,” said Angela Baird, the director of operations at Brand Innovation Group, who consulted with Ferrero USA, Nutella’s parent company on creating the space. “Everything screams ‘Nutella.’”
The ground floor of the restaurant has an open floorplan with communal tables and smaller cafe-style seating for pairs of people to sit and talk over the many options, ranging from sweet to savory.
Not every item on the menu includes Nutella, but everything is inspired by the origins of it, according to Noah Szporn, the vice president of marketing for Ferrero.
An example of this is the speck ham and gruyere panini. Spec ham is similar to proscuitto, but prepared in the same region in Northern Italy as Nutella.
There is no shortage of items, including Nutella that will satisfy even the most stubborn of sweet tooths. The Nutella croissant is a perfect starting point for newbies to the Nutella craze. More experienced Nutella fans will relish in the liege waffle topped with warm apple compote and hazelnuts and doused in Nutella.
Also on offer will be various gelato flavors that can be added to any sweet Nutella dish on the menu or eaten alone — with the option to top each scoop with its own Nutella drizzle.
The restaurant is located at the high-traffic corner of Michigan Ave. and Lake St. near Millennium Park, accessible to tourists and locals on their way to work alike.
“You can stop in for a coffee on your way to work or come in and relax and also have breakfast — or something savory — at 9 p.m.,” said Szporn.
On the second level of the cafe are roundabout red couches surrounding a fireplace for a “warm and inviting” dining experience, according to Baird, something the minds behind the restaurant will resonate with the people of Chicago.
“The food culture here is amazing … Chicago is different than other major cities,” said Szporn. “We wanted to be a part of that, with our food bringing people together.”
The cafe will open May 31.