Do your summer plans include sipping a marshmallow fluff-topped cold brew? If not, it's time to change that with a visit to XO Marshmallow’s sweet new digs. After five years in Rogers Park, the gourmet marshmallow company has moved its candy-colored café operations to a larger storefront in Lincoln Park that’s opening on June 4 with a menu full of summery marshmallow treats.
Lindzi Shanks, who co-owns XO Marshmallow with Kat Connor, says a move was necessary following massive sales growth that made working in the petite Rogers Park storefront, which hosted both the café and production facilities, near impossible. “We loved the area that we were in before, but the reality was that we were bursting at the seams,” Shanks explains.
The new café—located in a hot pink storefront on Clark Street—is more than twice the size of its predecessor, boasting expanded seating options and an event space for parties and classes. (The production facility has moved to a 8,700-square-foot location in Skokie.) Visitors can settle in at high-top seating along two wooden bars or round tables outfitted with pastel-colored banquettes and eat a marshmallow while admiring the café’s eye-catching decor, including plants, neon signs and colorful murals by artist Emma Moss. Shanks describes the design aesthetic as “70s summer camp,” with a slightly more elevated feel than the Rogers Park location.
“This, to me, is almost like XO Marshmallow’s big sister,” Shanks says. “A lot of intention and care went into creating this space.”
Shanks says they’ve incorporated customer feedback into many of the Lincoln Park shop's offerings, and XO Marshmallow fans will notice a handful of new (and long-requested) menu items: A desire for more coffee drink options, for example, has produced fluffogatos (frozen marshmallow fluff topped with a shot of espresso) and cold brew floats topped with fluff. Other new additions include flavored s’mores in unusual varieties like birthday cake and cookies-and-cream. Customers have also been asking for more merch, which they’ll find in the form of marshmallow-emblazoned jean jackets, scented candles and other accessories produced by women-owned businesses.
The company plans to revive its classes, like a popular marshmallow decorating workshop, sometime in the near future. For now, Shanks says the team is excited to get acquainted with folks in their new neighborhood.
“I really like the energy and community of this neighborhood,” she says. ”There’s constantly something to do, and there are constantly new, interesting and innovative things to see.”
XO Marshmallow (2730 N Clark St) will open on Saturday, June 4; hours are Tuesday–Thursday 10am–7pm and Saturday–Sunday 10am–8pm. Take a look through the new space below and prepare for a summer of salted caramel s’mores and fluffogatos.