The new kind of chocolate bar: Chocolate lounges

Joan Hadac

Chocolate.

Just the word brings a feeling of total euphoria to some. It’s not surprising that the Aztecs thought it was drank by the gods and given to humans as a blessing in the form of a cocoa seed.

“The nectar of the gods,” is an apt description.

Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge and Moonstruck Chocolate Café provide not only the sustenance, but a place to relax, sit back with a sister, friend, significant other, or the whole family — children are welcome — and enjoy the delights chocolate can offer.

“Ethel’s is a chocolate retreat. ... It’s comfortable, just like chocolate,” Ira Fortner, district manager of Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge. “Customer’s love our decor and are surprised by the fun events we offer.”

While both have been in existence in the Las Vegas area and the Northwest for many years, Chicago-area residents started seeing these “chocolate bars” come into town in the last year or so. And when you belly up to this bar, you’ll find “cocktails” in a solid or liquid form, served in a mug, on a platter or as a fondue.

“Customers appreciate the unique experience they get at Moonstruck. We believe you can’t match the experience in any other type of location,” said Darin Linnman, spokesperson for Moonstruck Chocolate Café. “I don’t think you can find the experience in any other cafe or coffee shop.”

Whether patrons select the deep pink, purple and chocolate brown decor of Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge or the deep navy accented with gold of Moonstruck Chocolate Café, the delicious taste of dark, milk or white chocolate has a place to call home.

The Moonstruck Chocolate Café location in Champaign has proven a favorite.

“The Champaign location is very popular with students. They like to hang out there. They have a place where they can study and get a pick-me-up,” Linman said.

Chocolate connoisseurs can visit their preferred chocolate bar any time they have a craving for their favorite fare.

Hinsdale Suburban Life