Dollop is a true "coffee home:" a coffee shop for those intent on setting up shop with laptops, newspapers, books and caffeine for hours at a time. Philip Tadros and Shaye Robeson bought the abandoned pharmacy space, doctoring it up into a true coffee haven over the past year. After ripping out some walls to discover new proprietor's gold (exposed brick), they gave it a fresh, warm paint job and inserted a glorious, Frank Lloyd Wright-ish, custom-made coffee bar.
The main room has a smattering of couches, a few chairs and several tables where you'll enjoy free wi-fi along with your well-prepared drink. There is an iMac with free Internet access as well. The back wall contains an unassuming threshold that leads to a comfy cove with couches, library-like tables and bookshelves: seemingly designed for those who would go to the library if not for the anti-noise and anti-beverage laws.
A "friends don't let friends drink Starbucks" bumper sticker greets you at the cash register, where you'll find a basic selection of tea and coffee drinks (hot and cold), ice cream, creamy frusia freezes, pastries, bagels and coffee in full bean form. Dollop proudly serves Chicago's own Metropolis coffee to ensure you'll always be presented with a fine brew.
It's coffeeshops like Dollop that can claim responsibility for regenerating a generation of urban individuals. The frazzled come to curl up, to concentrate on work, to share or to be left alone; they leave as rejuvenated versions of their former selves, ready to face the city's kicks and abrasions with a calm, steady smile.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jeremy Freeden