Finding the Write Place: Sawada Coffee

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com that highlights some of our favorite places to write here in the Windy City.

Sawada Coffee

112 N Green St
Chicago, IL, 60607

Monday-Sunday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

(hours posted as of October 2016, check Sawada’s site for up-to-date hours)

Noise level: moderate-high-conversations, sound of clatter from bar, music

Availability of space: Dependent on day (I went on a Sunday, it was full with a few empty seats still)

Bathrooms: yes

Food: yes (pastries, also connected to Green Street Meats)

Wifi: free with password

Outlets: YES! (there are wall outlets at the seats along the window and hanging outlets in the center of the main table!)

Sawada coffee is a fun,small coffee shop directly attached to Green Street Meats (a must-visit if you love BBQ). And by “directly” I mean directly attached. It’s open to the GSM space, so all the noise and music and delicious smells waft over from the BBQ place.

img_20161023_130225 That being said, it’s a very fun place to have a coffee and write if you don’t mind noise. There is always music playing and depending on who has control of the GSM iPod it varies. Sometimes I go there and it’s classic rock, sometimes it’s country, sometimes it’s the Beatles, sometimes it’s indie-alt pop. I don’t mind since I am good with ambient noise, but if you’re a person who needs quiet when you write, then this place is probably not for you.

The chairs are a bit harder than I’d like for a long writing session. The ones by the window have padding and a back, but the ones at the middle table (a reclaimed ping-pong table, complete with removable divider) has hard wooden stools bolted into the floor so you can’t move them. If you want to take your coffee and sit at the long picnic benches in the main space of Green Street Meats, then that’s totally allowed.

It’s a nice place for groups, so if you have a writing group that wants to meet up on a Sunday afternoon, then definitely try out Sawada/Green Street Meats because there’s plenty of space.

I’d suggest this place for writers who don’t mind noise, want a joint eating/writing session, or writing groups to meet up for critique or hang out sessions.

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This post is brought to you by Kat Cho at ChiYAwriters.com.

Finding the Write Place: Sip & Savor in Hyde Park

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com that highlights some of our favorite places to write here in the Windy City.

SIP & SAVOR

5301 S. Hyde Park
(Del Prado Building)
Chicago, IL 60615
Mon – Fri: 6am – 8pm
Saturday 7am – 8pm
Sunday: 7am – 6pm
Major Holidays 8am-3pm

(Hours subject to change. Please check the Sip & Savor website for up-to-date hours.)

Noise level: moderately quiet (some conversations but also lots of people working/studying)

Availability of space: moderately crowded (a steady stream of customers but I’ve never had trouble finding a seat)

Bathrooms: yes (with key from counter)

Food: yes (menu of light breakfast items, soups, smoothies, and baked goods)

Wifi: free with password

Outlets: some (especially at tables near the walls and at counters along the windows)

Sip & Savor is a neighborhood coffee shop that’s fast becoming an institution in Hyde Park. Adjacent to Harold Washington Park and just blocks from the Lake Michigan shorefront, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the University of Chicago, it’s a great place to grab a coffee and get some work done before exploring the nearby sites. In summer, outside tables allow you to feel like you’re practically in the park, and in winter, large glass windows with counter seats allow you to enjoy the view while staying warm and cozy inside.

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Trez V. Pugh, III (Photo via sipandsavorchicago.com)

According to President and CEO Trez V. Pugh, III, “Our goal at Sip and Savor is to capture the positive energy and excitement of Chicago neighborhoods. In recent years, Hyde Park and Bronzeville has welcomed burgeoning revitalization: restoration of historic buildings along with development of new businesses and an influx of professionals making the community home. I am proud to say that Sip and Savor is a part of this positive movement. We call ourselves ‘Globally Local’ – we offer the finest coffee and teas from around the globe, while complimenting them with pastries from local bakeries. We strive to become your neighborhood coffee shop of choice.”

The website also notes, “All of our coffees are certified fair trade, and in some cases, certified organic and shade grown.  This means that the products you buy maintain biodiversity, provide shelter for migratory birds and help reduce global warming.”

In addition to the Hyde Park location, there is a Sip & Savor at 528 E. 43rd Street in Bronzeville. According to a DNAinfo article from October, Pugh plans to open two additional locations at 2239 S. Michigan Ave and 4600 S. Michigan Ave (Rosenwald Court Apartments), with a possible fifth shop in the works.

Sip & Savor has a rewards program for frequent customers. If you enroll, you will also receive occasional text alerts about special deals. (I receive no more than one or two texts per month.) The Hyde Park location is conveniently located next to a stop for the Number 6 CTA bus, which runs express downtown.

I would recommend Sip & Savor as a place to sit and write for a few hours, grab coffee and chat quietly with a friend, or stop in for a snack on your way to a book reading at the University of Chicago or my favorite neighborhood bookstore, 57th Street Books.

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This post is brought to you by Lizzie Cooke at ChiYAwriters.com.

Finding the Write Place: The Allis at Soho House

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com that highlights some of our favorite places to write here in the Windy City.

The Allis

113 – 125 North Green Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Mon – Tues: 7am – 12am
Weds-Thurs: 7am – 1am
Fri – Sat: 7am – 2am
Sun: 8am – 11pm

(Hours subject to change. Please check Allis website for up-to-date hours.)

Noise level: moderate-conversations, sound of clatter from bar

Availability of space: dependent on day (I went on a Sunday, it was full with brunch crowd)

Bathrooms: yes

Food: yes (menu of breakfast and lunch items)

Wifi: free with password

Outlets: some by the wall tables

The Allis is in the downstairs lobby of Soho House which is known as a membership boutique hotel (with locations in places such as New York City and London). You need a membership to access places such as the gym, the rooftop, and other amenities upstairs. But the first floor is open for the public.

On the first floor sits the Allis, which boasts beautiful chandeliers, small intimate tables for two, and long tables for shared use. It has a great weekend brunch and a good variety of lunch foods. There’s a full bar and if you venture down stairs you’ll find the Cowshed Spa (also open to the public and one of my favorite spas in Chicago).

img_20161023_140431It’s a nice place for writing especially during the week when it’s quieter. It gets fairly crowded with brunchers on the weekends. And during certain seasons the afternoon is reserved for tea time (so you have to get tea service in order to sit). I “accidentally” went to tea one afternoon when my sister and I wanted to get a quick coffee, but it was actually very tastey and fun (we enjoyed the tiny sandwiches). In general, it’s a great place to set up a laptop and get some writing in. When the weather is nice there is a great outdoor space that faces Green Street and despite the scattered traffic it’s a great place to hang out and soak in some sun. (I’ve met my sister and her puppy there many times).

I would recommend it, but mostly for the weekdays.

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This post is brought to you by Kat Cho at ChiYAwriters.com.