BY SCOTT FISHMAN / JULY 29, 2016
Scott Fishman is a life-long Chicagoan, where he studied at DePaul University earning both his BA and MS while working at the university. His career path has led him from teaching high school social studies, to over 20 years in the advertising industry. His love for the city and what his wife calls his “font of Chicago knowledge” have made for the perfect mix of skills to become a successful Realtor. Partnering with veteran Realtor Jayne Alofs, they form a well-balanced real estate team that always provides the highest level of client service.
One of the best things about being a realtor is the flexibility to find new spaces to work at. I’m always meeting with new clients all over the city and suburbs, and one of my favorite places to meet them is at a coffee shop. The ironic part of it…I don’t even drink coffee, I like my iced tea!
I think coffee shops are great way to get an insight into the neighborhood, the culture of the area and the overall style of the community. When you spend a lot of time on your laptop and phone like I do, finding a great place to work with free Wi-Fi is really critical to ensuring my day is productive.
I don’t spend a lot of time in my office, so coffee shops around Chicagoland have become what I like to call – my virtual office.
In no particular order, here are some of my favorite coffee shops:
In this neighborhood, my go to is Filter. This coffee shop is in the heart of Wicker Park on Milwaukee Ave between Division and North. It’s a big space with all this cool eclectic furniture, and when you first walk in it’s great to see such a wide variety of people who are also there to work.
Aside from your average coffee & tea fare, they create these delicious breakfast and lunches in their always-busy kitchen. The free Wi-Fi is definitely important, although they do charge for refills on your iced tea. For my clients who are not familiar with Wicker Park, this is a great introduction to the neighborhood.
Moving a couple miles south into West Town, is a great little space called Sip! I particularly like going here in the summer, as they have a great outdoor space in the back. The offerings here include muffins, scones, and your pre-made sandwiches. Unfortunately, during the winter they don’t offer iced tea. The Sip owner always seems to be working the counter!
When I’m in this neighborhood I always try to set my meetings at Baker and Nosh. This place is extremely dangerous on several different levels, including their delicious black iced tea with free refills and Wi-Fi. But what really makes this place bad for my diet are their baked goods. Their chocolate chip salted cookies are kind of ridiculous! Pair that with their dark chocolate cherry cookies and you can consider your diet lost. What other coffee shop offers homemade sandwiches and flatbreads until they run out?! Their cherry scones are a meal in themselves, and about as many calories as one should eat in a day. Again, being in the middle of a very diverse neighborhood, this coffee shop really gives you a feel for all that Uptown has to offer.
While in this suburb, The Brothers K Coffeehouse is my place of choice. Located in south east Evanston, this coffee shop has become as standard for many Evanstonians. This no-frills, corner hang-out has an awesome mix of retired professors, current students, soccer moms and your average “crunchy” Evanston native. Really great service, freshly brewed iced tea, yummy scones and bagels are always available. They have a great lending library and a number of board games if you have time to hangout.
This Chicago neighborhood offers one of the most unique coffee shops I’ve ever been in. Not only do they sell coffee, tea and yummy treats, but they make bicycles there too! I’m talking about Heritage, located in the middle of Lake View on Lincoln Avenue, between Wellington and Diversey. It’s not every day you get a scone and iced tea while watching mechanics build bikes from scratch. It’s definitely an unusual little space where they try to balance room coffee customers and their bike shop. During the summer there’s plenty of outdoor space, just take your tea and scones and enjoy your little garden.
Finally, if I’m in the northern suburbs in the heart of downtown Wilmette, I have to go to The Rock House. This place is part coffee shop, part Honkytonk and part music school. If you’re there during the day, it presents itself as a music-themed coffee shop. But during the evenings and weekends, they have live music, open mic nights, and music classes going on! It’s just a block from the Metra stop in Wilmette and there’s a great little park across the street.
As a realtor, there’s something about meeting at a coffee shop that puts everyone at ease. Coffee shops are warm and inviting, providing a relaxed atmosphere to talk about the most important financial decision you will make in your life. It’s far more inviting than most office spaces, and you never know when you’ll meet your next client at one of them!
For more information about Jayne Alofs Partners or to inquire about working with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (or) call us at 312.475.4593.