The new Kribi Coffee at Cross Function is seen on Monday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Oak Park, Ill. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

After being plagued by construction delays, Kribi Coffee’s highly anticipated Oak Park location is now open to the public. It is inside Cross Function Flexible Workspace at the Boulevard Arcade building, 1033 South Blvd. It took more than a year to get Kribi’s Oak Park shop up and running and owner Jacques Shalo is transparent about the toll the extended timeline took on both business and his own mental health.

“Do you know where I was when we opened Oak Park?” asked Shalo with a just a hint of a laugh. “I was sleeping. I was there until 1 a.m. the day before making sure we were as close to done as we could be. I went home and slept for the first time in I don’t know how long. It was a sound sleep that felt like a deep sigh of relief.”

The yearlong runway to opening day was “mind-boggling” according to Shalo who could not get his contractor to see the job through to completion on a reasonable timeline. As the project dragged on Shalo began calculating the financial impact of the delays. When he realized his exposure was closing in on $200,000, he drew the line and the individual disappeared altogether.  

In response to the frustrating situation, he called upon people he knew to get the project across the finish line. He looked to Forest Park businesses, Tim Stefl Inc., and Kinetic Electricity to steward the shop to completion.

“The Village of Oak Park knew about our bad situation and were also really helpful,” said Shalo. “They helped expedite inspections and gave us very clear instructions.”

Shalo is thrilled with the positive response to the shop opening and looks forward to welcoming commuters into the shop. Kribi’s Cross Function location is currently open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Regular hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. are scheduled to begin Oct. 31.