SPstories: 3rd Coast Cafe


SinglePlatform is thrilled to work with a wide variety of local business owners who all have their own unique backgrounds and experiences. Recently, we caught up with Janet Thomas, co-owner of The 3rd Coast Cafe. Nestled in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast, The 3rd Coast has been serving fresh-to-order dishes to locals and tourists for over 30 years, cementing its status as a neighborhood institution.

The 3rd Coast originally opened in 1985. In those days, Janet’s current business partner, Chris, and his sister were servers at the cafe.  At the time, the cafe only served coffee, wine, and small plates. This was a time before Starbucks and the cafe was the only coffee shop in the area.

 Via @3rdcoastcafe on instagram Via @3rdcoastcafe on instagram

Fast-forward to 1998 when the 3rd Coast Cafe’s business faltered and the property ended up in bankruptcy. Chris, who was now a chef, got a call. Did he want to buy the 3rd Coast Cafe, the coffee shop he had worked at years prior? Chris decided to ask his business-savvy girlfriend about it. Janet recalls, “I said I think we should get married and buy the business. So, we bought the business and then we called our wedding off three weeks before the wedding.” Although the romance fizzled, Janet and Chris have co-owned The 3rd Coast Cafe since 1998 and remain the best of friends.

Janet explained to us her simple philosophy for success: “Build a really strong team and have great food at a great price with awesome service.” Over the years, Janet and her staff have expanded the menu to a full all-day menu with a dinner menu that changes on a daily basis.

Like many business owners, Janet has had to grapple with the changing digital environment of the business. Janet says they were managing their online presence “poorly.” She explains, “I used to update everything by hand but now it would be impossible for me to know all the places where my menu pops up.” Janet decided to try SinglePlatform to help her keep up. Learn more about how SinglePlatform helped Janet in our latest Success Story. She says “I would recommend SinglePlatform to anyone. I couldn’t run the business I have today without SinglePlatform.”

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