They're called hipsters and these days they can be found in just about any major metropolitan area. You can spot them by their tattoos, skinny jeans, and v-neck shirts. They make up a cultural phenomenon that seems to be an amalgamation of at least half a dozen styles from generations past. They are a clique of artists, they have a fascination with all things retro, and they love coffee shops. It's almost as if Andy Warhol was assembling his legions from beyond the grave. Any world class city has its enclaves that draw in untold numbers of young artistic dreamers. In Chicago its called Logan Square.
Logan Square is a hive of restaurants, bars, art galleries, small performance venues, and of course coffee shops. Not even half a block from the Milwaukee Blue Line stop a little place called Cafe Mustache has taken all these elements and combined them into one muy bueno cafe.
Anybody walking in to Cafe Mustache for the first time will instantly notice the decor. The red and white painted walls are reminiscent of the rooms from The Shining's Over Look Hotel, and are adorned by paintings, sketches, and various other curiosities. There is a mini pinball machine in the corner covered by a potted plant that acts as a sort side table for the people on the couch against the wall. There is a rack of CDs and records from a vareity of local artists that stands on a table across from the register. In another corner sits a globe next to a large, old world atlas. It's a terrific clash of the old and the new. It has a way of making one ponder is this what underground cafes looked like back in the days when weed was reefer and jazz was considered subversive?
The menu boasts a variety of food options made with organic ingredients from local independent suppliers. The menu also includes vegan options. Cafe Mustache is a cafe so of course you have the options of coffee, espresso, and even some pretty good hot apple cider. The alcoholic beverages offered include a variety of craft beers and some very interesting cocktails concauteted by the cafe's friendly staff. Including a drink that tastes just like iced coffee, but is in actuality loaded with vodka.
At night the cafe often becomes a rather intimate performance venue to a variety of talents. Look at their event calendar and it's usually loaded with tons of options ranging from DJs, to literary readings, comedy shows, and of course, live music. It is a small space so on these nights it can get a little crowded but once the social anxiety wears off it just helps to make things that much more social.
All and all, Cafe Mustache is everything it claims to be in it's mission statement:
“A unique new space in Logan Square for locally roasted coffee, fine teas and baked goods. Beyond our commitment to serving a great cup of coffee, we hope Cafe Mustache becomes a place for our community to socialize, share, and engage one another. Our mission is to be a positive force for culture and community in Logan Square, and help to ensure this remains a vibrant, unique neighborhood.”
Cafe Mustache has a friendly atmosphere, and eclectic clientele, and a courteous staff, and the menu options generally go beyond what is offered at most cafes. This unique Logan Square cafe also does serve an important community function. It's a place where artists, writers, and performers can go to find each other as well as a place to find some hot tatted gals that might be into trivial pursuit.
Cafe Mustache is located at 2313 N Milwaukee Avenue
For more information, call 773-687-9063 or check out their website.