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Restaurant Sat Sep 15 2007
Somewhere between Ukrainian Village and Humboldt Park, I forget just where the line is drawn, lays Star Lounge Café. Open for just about three weeks, this 20-seat coffee bar is yet another new offering to the Chicago coffeehouse scene. Down right comfy and warm, probably due to the orange hued walls, dark wood floors and the wood bar that runs half way down the shop, Star Lounge offers a bit of a different feel than the regular coffee shop. It’s more like going to the local pub than waiting in line for a double tall half-caff latte at some chain store. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about coffee; I talked to the barista, who seemed more like a bartender than coffee jockey, mostly about other coffee shops around the city and about different roasters around the country. He seemed to know what he was talking about.
Star Lounge offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items named for Chicago neighborhoods and streets, such as the Grand Avenue, crunchy peanut butter and sliced banana on your choice of bagel from New York Bagel & Bialy, or the East Village Veggie Delight, an iron-pressed flat sandwich, hummus, tomato, black olives, red onions on white or wheat. Star lounge even has a bit of a kids menu with PB&J and grilled cheese sandwiches. They serve all the standard specialty coffee drinks one would expect from a coffee shop: cappuccino and lattes, as well as some none coffee stuff like Jones Soda, Naked Juice and a variety of teas. The Cosmic Creations, like the Peppermint-mocha Macchiato, a traditional latte macchiato layered with a splash of peppermint flavoring and marked with espresso and chocolate sauce, are worth trying. And you’ve got to love a shop that calls there espresso blend “Dark Star.”
Star lounge has a few other things going for it as well, notably the backyard patio, for that chilling’ at home kind of feel as opposed to sitting on Chicago avenue watching cars speed by, and of course free wi-fi, the hallmark of any new coffee shop. Hours are a bit limited; they're open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. according to Menu Pages. Hopefully the hours will expand in the future. Of all the new offerings the city has at the moment, Star Lounge Cafe is well worth checking out.
Star Lounge Café is located at 2521 W Chicago Ave. (773) 384-7827