Spring Awakening in Logan Square



I went for a walk around the neighborhood yesterday and noticed many changes. Funny because I walked most of this stretch just last week and didn’t notice any of these things! I stopped at Cafe Mustache for a drink and as I continued up Milwaukee Avenue, I noticed this construction at the 2337 N. Milwaukee storefront. It’s right in between The Chicago Diner (in the old Logan Square Kitchen space) and Chicken Run. Looking at streetview, it appears this used to be an old time Spanish-speaking law firm. I can’t find any information about what it’s going to be after construction is done.



If you’re thinking that’s where the new German restaurant Radler is headed, think again. I think that is going into one of these buildings… either the Thiessen Printing or Precision Die Cutting spots. Both are a little farther up Milwaukee from the 2337 N. storefront.


Next I noticed the odd bar above the liquor store, next to the car wash, that used to be called The Loft is now My Penthouse Lounge. (?)


This next closing is sad, but I can’t say that I’m surprised: Real Tenochtitlan. We always really liked this place and everyone we’ve talked to has always enjoyed it as well, but none of us went there often enough and no one knows why. They’ve had endless one after the other Groupons and coupons for the last few years. Never seemed like a good sign. I guess we should look forward to the new Latino steak house.


Just some interesting graffiti to toss in the mix.


I noticed at Milwaukee and Sacramento that Reaper Tattoo is closed and the building is for sale.


I stopped in at New Wave for a spinach and feta croissant (AMAZING!) and then noticed on Logan Boulevard that there’s a new salon. The Bird’s Nest Salon is “an alternative salon dedicated to green living and wellness for our clients.” This is right next to Dunlay’s on the Square and used to be a salon called Barbara & Barbara, which has now moved to 2925 W. Diversey.

Logan Square Walk

On Saturday it was so nice outside, for the first time in many months I went for a walk to enjoy the weather. It felt nice to breathe in the fresh air and to get out in the sun.

I checked on Nice Slice again and didn’t see any exterior changes, so I decided to walk north on California Avenue. Passing by the Roberto Clemente Post Office, I stopped to appreciate how pretty it is. Inside, it’s about as miserable as any post office in the city, but the outside is nice.

From there on I decided to keep taking photos, even though I only had my cell phone with me. This metal fire escape/stairway outside a building on California Avenue is not actually that common in Chicago. It reminded me a lot of New York where almost every building has this type of escape.

I checked on Letizia’s again. No visible progress so far. On to The Boulevard, that’s Logan Boulevard. The day was spring-like, but I’m hesitant to say “spring” because as you can see, still a lot of snow on the ground.

There were lots of puddles where the snow is melting, though. Trees reflected in a puddle here.

A church and some houses on The Boulevard. Chicago’s boulevards are so pretty. Stately houses, manicured lawns. I love how they’re major thoroughfares but there are large patches of green and quiet local streets along side the express boulevard.

There were a lot of people outside walking around, enjoying the sun and fair temperatures.

Few more houses on The Boulevard.

I decided to stop and get some coffee. Letizia’s isn’t open yet, and why go to Starbucks when there are other local options? So, I went to New Wave Coffee.

This is my barista. And look at the pretty mocha he made me. You don’t get that at Starbucks! New Wave serves locally-made Metropolis coffee and in my mocha, Ghirardelli chocolate.

I entered New Wave on Logan Boulevard, but I exited on Milwaukee Avenue. Walking south on Milwaukee you come across the Milshire Hotel. This place has obviously been there forever. I can’t find a lot about it online, but I’m lead to believe that it is not good. All I could find is people saying that only vagrants, hookers and junkies stay there!

When ever Dallas and I pass this place we sing La Isla Bonita.

Discount Mega Mall. It is what it is.

The car wash is a busy place on one of the first spring-like days of the year!

Dallas and I are convinced that our tiny Logan Square Philly’s Best is really just a part of the garage/car wash. It has service entrances on each side!

There’s this place on Milwaukee Avenue called La Casa del Vaquero. It’s hard to see inside the windows because of the glare of the sun, but if you’re ever passing by, take a look. They have all kinds of wacky stuff inside including a stuffed buffalo, horse and ostrich!

The Whistler is another window to watch for. The windows there change all the time and are always really artistic. Always interesting to see how they have them decorated.

I was happy to see that Foto Quetzal still has this awesome photo in their window display.

If you think dead animals in a window was weird, then what do you make of life-sized pirates?

Maybe even weirder? Chicago has its own Statue of Liberty (at Liberty Bank).

Precision Die Cutting. I’ve passed by it a thousand times.

But this time I looked up for some reason and noticed that they have a sign where they say their the “Home of the Whirlypic”… whatever that is! All I can figure out online is that they’re some sort of plastic outdoor ornaments or vehicle antenna ornaments.

Cole’s is a newer bar that has become a neighborhood favorite. They have free music there all the time.

Logan Square Kitchen is a kitchen and venue space that opened within the last year. My friend Ed has checked it out a few times – he’s got a food-related side business.

The talk of the town: Revolution Brewing.

Stopping for a dry cleaning errand at Smart Cleaners.

I can’t remember where it was.. somewhere I lived… the drycleaning hangers always said something like “Back so soon? And fresh as a daisy!”

Cozy Corner, Emilio’s Produce Stand, the California Blue Line stop. This is a busy intersection. And see the rectangle in front of this guy’s face? Sears Tower. We’re not too far from downtown.

Same corner, different view.

Same corner, different view. Love/Hate. Love Foremost, Hate Subway.

Logan Bar & Grill. Love/Hate in a more traditional manner.

My California Blue Line train station. It’s old and rickety but I like it anyway.

The Mexican bakery, Panaderia la Central.

I think it’s so cute that our local taqueria, Taqueria Moran, has St. Patricks Day decorations up right now.

The final stretch home.