it has been some time since i’ve pointed out a best seat here at twitchy.org. how nice it was, then, for intelligentsia to go to such great labor and expense to encourage dorky layabouts like me to linger longer.
intelli’s broadway store is in a neighborhood i have known for years and years. it’s the same chunk of lakeview where i spent my high school lunch hours buying melody maker and crappy british music, and where i’d meet up with my then-boyfriend for gyros or pinball. his old work is now a bicycle store, too-precious kimya dawson fans shop for t-shirts at the threadless boutique, and of course, after i left town completely, some fly-by-night coffee company called intelligentsia started up, just a little bit north of where the dominick’s burned down and no one ever bothered to build it again.
this cafe has always been my favorite of the three intelligentsias in chicago: you can hang out here, it’s warm and spacious and comfy, you can park your car, it’s in a real neighborhood and not in the Loop, and a million other reasons. and sneaking in just under the 2008 wire is a major bar redesign that incorporates both a more serious approach to coffee, and a more enjoyable cafegoing experience. ahem: there are seats at the bar now, creating the convivial yet nerdy atmosphere there *should* be in a hardcore coffeebar. three barstools — just enough to bring a friend and meet a stranger — are courtside seats to three (!) newly deployed clovers, and offer a longer sightline to the moneyshot views coming out of the shop’s new synesso. you can sit and shoot the breeze here for some time: all in natural light near an electrical outlet, with enough distance from the cream station so that no one’s jabbing a stir stick through your back. and the bar is deep! spread out! enjoy the fresh flowers and stay awhile, maybe make some friends, maybe order another. why the hell would anyone sit anywhere else?