the coffee studio

December 31st, 2007

the coffee studio
5628 n clark
chicago, il

so we’re both home for christmas and i’m sayin’ to oliver driving around in the car, “you know, chicago is really ready for another cafe.” being that i really only count intelligentsia’s three cafes and metropolis as the go-to places in chicago, it really did seem like that third wave was past due in crashing another espresso joint onto lake michigan’s shores.

and then about a day later, joellen emailed me about the coffee studio!

this andersonville bar opened just earlier this month, serving a needed niche for good coffee in a growing neighborhood. it’s gorgeous — looks kinda like wallpaper magazine exploded in here — and clearly someone threw a lot of money and taste and metrosexual skill into the decor. exposed brick! natural wood! eames chairs! lucite! plants! this all comes off as sort of cozy in an upscale lodge sort of way. andersonville, you don’t know what hit ya.

basic espresso preparation instructions fill a long horizontal blackboard on the south wall. is this art, or was someone actually teaching a beginner class? ala a real “studio”? but really i think it’s just up as art, which is both geeky hot and kind of oversimplifying and intensely bizarre. oliver noted, “they seem about 50/50 on design versus actual coffee here” — and a quick perusal of the website indicates that, indeed, the shop was actually opened by designers. right. never woulda guessed.

since they’re only a mile away from metropolis, cough, they’ve opted to serve intelligentsia coffees here — i crossed my fingers they’d do something unusual like have kid o on one of the grinders (why doesn’t even intelli do this!?) but we’re seeing the usual black cat/decaf here. but every other stop is pulled out — hello, are you chicago’s first synesso behind that handsome lucite bar? and though it’s a sweet touch that eva solos are brought to your table for single-origin drip — what, no clover? guess the credit line ends somewhere. there are snacks, and even a simple coffee order yields a sweet little biscuit on your saucer. and though my shots were not amazing, and i will admit and you may already know i am not a huge flag-waver for black cat, the store is new and figuring itself out and we will all give them many chances to get sorted before we snobbishly mumble our way back down to lakeview, yes?

more than just being a great new neighborhood fixture, this super design-forward, immensely welcoming spot is a much needed third player in the windy city cafe scene which had stalled out a bit with no one else ready to throw their hat in the ring alongside pioneering and hugely respectworthy roaster/cafes intelligensia and metropolis. good for you, coffee studio. if i ever slow down enough on a trip to chicago to spend a few hours cozily whiling away on the far north side, i’m gonna while them away in your skilfully lit coffee bordello.

One Response to “the coffee studio”

  1. amber fox

    sounds amazing!

    and yes, what IS going on with Kid O? such a lively, lovely espresso neglected by most intelli-focused shops!

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