Finding the Write Place: Beermiscuous

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



2812 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
Monday – Thursday: 1:00pm – 11pm
Friday: 1:00pm – 12am
Saturday: 12:00pm – 12am
Sunday: 12:00pm – 8pm

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

Noise level: Before 2pm on weekends (and, I am told, before 6 or 7 on weekdays), it’s nearly deserted. After this time, there’s an influx of people who come to hang out, which brings with it a loud chatter. Throughout, the music is unobtrusive and tends toward funk and upbeat rock.

Availability of space: On a Saturday afternoon, busy but not overcrowded; I had no trouble finding a table that comfortably fit two laptops; there are also seats at the bar and upholstered chairs if you’re looking for a different work environment.

Bathrooms: Yes

Food: Yes (You can order directly through the bar for a Gino’s East pizza, or can bring in your own food. There’s a torta place just down the street, and if you’re willing to walk about six blocks you’ll find tacos, a brunch spot with wraps/sandwiches/waffles, and a funky Korean restaurant.)

Wifi: Free with social media sign-in, or you’ll have good connectivity to xfinity wifi if you get your internet from Comcast.

Outlets: Some (several booths have them, as does the fireplace/armchair feature).

Located on the southern edge of Lakeview, Beermiscuous is a fun place to work on weekends if you focus better with significant ambient noise—especially if you want to work past 5 p.m., when many coffee shops close. It’ll be quieter earlier in the day/on weekdays if you prefer a more traditional coffee shop feel. Inspired by classic european coffee houses, this is a place where groups of friends like to gather to catch up or play board games, but you’ll also find some individuals and pairs working at laptops or reading.

The bar has a rotating selection of 16 taps, plus more than 350 beers available in bottles/cans. If you’re indecisive, you can build your own flight from the tapped beers, and there are also non-alcoholic beverage options if you’re under 21 or prefer not to imbibe.

The bar staff is super friendly and knowledgeable, and thanks to the coffee shop vibe you won’t feel guilty for lingering. This is a great place if you’re more of a night owl, like ambient noise (or have good headphones), and want a laid-back spot with excellent craft beer options.


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Finding the Write Place: Kitchen Sink

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


1107 W. Berwyn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
Monday-Friday: 6:30am – 5pm
Weekends: 7:30am – 5pm

(Hours subject to change. Please check the Kitchen Sink website for up-to-date hours.)

Noise level: quiet (most people working/studying alone or with one other person)

Availability of space: moderately crowded (it’s a small space, but I’ve always found a seat)

Bathrooms: yes

Food: yes (breakfast and lunch menus with vegetarian options, plus pastries)

Wifi: free with password

Outlets: some (along the walls)

Kitchen Sink is a cozy neighborhood cafe in Edgewater, just steps from the Berwyn Red Line stop. It’s a great place to grab coffee or a light, healthy lunch and get some work done. They also serve breakfast and pastries all day. The food is fresh and creative, with plenty of options for everyone. In summer, you can soak up the sunshine at outdoor tables, and in winter, a skylight keeps the back of the shop nice and bright. The music, which tends toward acoustic folk, is set low enough that it’s not intrusive.

Kitchen Sink has a fairly small seating area and most people seem to go there to work, so I wouldn’t recommend it for large groups. However, with its quiet, cozy atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to sit and write for a few hours alone or with a friend.

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Finding the Write Place: Big Shoulders Coffee

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

Big Shoulders Coffee

1105 W Chicago Ave

Chicago, IL 60642

Monday-Friday: 6:00am – 7:00pm

Saturday-Sunday 7:30-5:00pm

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

Noise level: moderate-conversations,  music

Availability of space: I always get a seat (I usually go on Sundays)

Bathrooms: yes (with key)

Food: yes (pastries and cookies)

Wifi: free with password

Outlets: YES! (by the counter as well as under the main table)

Big Shoulders Coffee is cute and simple in terms of coffee shops. It is right outside the Chicago/Milwaukee Blue Line stop, and on the route for the 56 and 66 bus lines. So it’s in a fairly accessible location for anyone in the West Town area.

I love going there when I want to hunker down and work, though sometimes there are groups chatting or doing a project together. The space is limited, but many people come in to get their coffee on the way to and from the train.

They also sell their own brand of merchandise and coffee. I actually covet their thermoses (I’ve yet to try their Big Shoulders Coffee beans).

It’s a nice, small coffee shop to visit to do work, but not the best for large groups.

Finding the Write Place: Sawada Coffee

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on 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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Finding the Write Place: Sip & Savor in Hyde Park

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


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.


Trez V. Pugh, III (Photo via

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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Finding the Write Place: The Allis at Soho House

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on 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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