Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Search of a Work/Study Spot in the Sloop

A reader writes:

I often have meetings/work sessions for a non-profit in the evening. I already work from home so I need to get out of my place to stay focused. Is there a cafe or something like it that Southloopers can recommend where I can work? Preferably something open until midnight with wifi access.

We know of the Panera (State and Congress), the Caribou Coffee (9th and Wabash), or the Panera in Southgate Market (Roosevelt and Canal) but besides that we're unsure of other spots in the Sloop. Any suggestions?

It seems like we're missing a mom and pop local place...wish we had one of those in the Sloop!

Maybe the new Gretta's place at 13th and Wabash could fill this void, however we doubt it will be open until midnight.

Correction: We meant Donna's at 13th and State (not Gretta's).

(Hat Tip: AV!)

20 comments:

Andy said...

I'm still really rooting for a local coffeeshop at 9th and State where the temporary Halloween store just went in.

On a related note, the Starbucks at Dearborn and Harrison was just remodeled. I think they should have expanded into Pocket's space before they opened, but despite not being any larger I've been seeing a lot more people hanging out there.

Anonymous said...

I have been going to the student center at IIT on 33rd & State. Lots of activity that is also a good study location. The coffee baristas are working as well. IIT's vibe is very good for studying IMO.

Anonymous said...

What is this Gretta's place you write of?

Anonymous said...

What is Gretta's place?

MarkChicago said...

Grettas? Do you mean Donna's at 13th & State? What is the status of that place anyways...

Anonymous said...

Little Branch Cafe!

Anonymous said...

there is a coffee shop called Overflow opening this fall/winter at the NW corner of state and 16th- in the same building as Daystar School. They had a booth at the Bash on Wabash. Hopefully they'll have a good work/study spot (it is right next to the Media Center for Columbia College).

Anonymous said...

I knew a coffee shop would open near that Columbia Media Center... I thought it'd be Starbucks, but Overflow will do! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Check out more about Overflow at www.overflowcoffeebar.org. I hear they are going to be a true neighborhood coffee spot. I've tried their coffee before at a neighborhood meeting and it was very tasty.

Anonymous said...

Gretta's??
Say more ....

Sloopy said...

Two mistakes on our end, sorry about that. It's Donna's and it's supposed to go in at State and 13th.

Anonymous said...

The utter lack of "hang out / study / coffee shops" in this hood is alarming; especially since we keep hearing that there are "so many students" in the sloop. You can't go 1/2-block on the north or west sides without running into a starbucks. It's amazing that there a no starbucks between roosevelt road and 35th street!

Anonymous said...

The only college kids I see south of Roosevelt is those that walk to the columbia buildings on Wabash/~14th and Michigan/~13th. Even on the #3/#29 bus, all the college looking kids all get off by 18th street. I've never even been near 35th street and I've been here for years. Hence, that's why there's no hang out/study/coffee shops in this zone.

Anonymous said...

... And yet some people might consider not having a Starbucks on every corner in the South Loop a real benefit! It's quite a fine balance... I'd love to see more coffee shops around the area but hopefully not all Starbucks. It'd be great to see more independent-style coffee places and hangouts, but with the current economy like it is, I doubt that's likely as only the big chains can take the risk.

Anonymous said...

We used to have a great one called "Gourmond" on Dearborn in Printers Row but, thanks to a greedy landlord, the spot sits empty . . . along with two other street-level spaces in the same building.

Corporate coffee sucks and does nothing for the local economy.

Anonymous said...

Little Branch has wifi and a good atmosphere for work and study.

Keith said...

Cafecito on Congress between state and wabash has free wifi, good coffee, cool cuban music and outstanding sandwiches (not to mention a very friendly staff and owner). Their achilles heel is the paucity of power outlets. They're open until 9pm.

Donna said...

Sloopy, thanks for the correction!
It is Donna's Cafe and I plan to open at 6am and close at 10pm.(I have to sleep some time lol) And there will be wi-fi!
Of course it's not a very large space but it will be comfortable.
We are now under construction going into week 2. My architect and contractor say 6-8 weeks...sigh.

With the fall weather coming be ready for hot soup and cool jazz!
Hope to see you soon!
Donna

Anonymous said...

There's a co-op not too far from the South Loop in the West Loop where you can rent a desk for a day or for however long you need it. I'm a freelance writer and it's really helped me get out and get productive. Plus every so often there's free lunch! http://coworkchicago.com/

Anonymous said...

I also like Little Branch Cafe on S. Prairie for a quiet place for coffee & reading. Not sure if they have wifi, though.