Very shortly, Fritz Knipschildt, owner of Chocopologie, will be swapping his old 12 South Main St. location for an up-to-date Chocopologie at 133 Washington St.
The new Chocopologie has maintained some aspects of the old café like the European flair (yes, I’m thinking about the savory buckwheat crepes), the open chocolate-making station, and their trademark exposed brick walls. But don’t be fooled; the light-washed wood flooring, trendy antique furniture, and a simple chalkboard menu point to a decidedly new style. Knipschildt described the new restaurant’s theme as “doing less with more.”
Their “less is more” thinking has inspired their chow as well. Knipschildt and Manager Joseph Trepanowski are not fans of the nuevo, hipster movement, and said that “these hipster places put on good faces but it’s a facade,” adding that they want to be cool but have substance.
A primary focus of the 133 Washington St. location will be the espresso. Most of their coffee brands will be organic, fair-trade organizations from Mexico and they will be roasting some coffee in-house. Knipschildt also said that they’ll be trying older methods like storing beans in barrels and love the idea of “roasting coffee in pans” like “their moms and grand-moms. ”
Diners can also look forward to an updated, always-fresh menu studded with sandwiches, custom salads, their trademark buckwheat crepes, and of course, decadent chocolate desserts. Trepanowski said, “We’ll be incorporating a lot of the same ingredients in different dishes to make it as fresh as possible.”
The new location is modern, but has layers of deep history. All starting about 100 years ago, kismet has seemingly brought Fritz and Joseph together. Going all the way back several generations, Trepanowski’s great grandfather fought against the Bolsheviks to protect Knipschildt’s family, one of the oldest royal families of Russia.
But the history behind Chocopologie doesn’t stop there; the café has a rich background in SoNo as well. Knipschildt explained that when his old Chocopologie restaurant opened “SoNo was growing. Then the recession hit and SoNo was greatly affected. Most businesses went under, so SoNo became not such an attractive address.” Throughout this all, Knipschildt had his eye on the Washington St. building because of it’s “prime location and “nightclubs across the street and down the road.” Soon after the recession hit, Caffeine, a 14-year old coffee shop struggled and eventually closed, leaving the space open for Chocopologie to open up shop.
Knipschildt and Trepanowski are expecting success, especially with the Ironworks building and new restaurants opening. So next time you’re coming home to your Ironworks apartment or eating at Washington Prime, grab some truffles and a nightcap at Chocopologie for a sweet ending to the night.
Chocopologie 133 Washington Street, Norwalk CT