"We care about the place because we have to," says Kitchen Sink Cafe owner Jeff Fox while cleaning the steam valve of his espresso machine, a month after combining funds with fellow former barista, Ally Brisbin, to keep the old Pause Cafe doors open in Edgewater
The two have put their stamp on the neighborhood coffee shop, laying bamboo over the old linoleum floor, browning the mustard-yellow walls and adorning them with the rotating selection of local-artist fare. They've kept some of Pause's more charming aspects intact, including iMacs with free wifi and an ornate stained-glass column beneath the space's skylight -- and, of course, Metropolis beans and leaves still brewing (expect to pay about $1.75 a cup).
Jeff and Ally have added a menu of sandwiches and salads -- assembled with nods to Steve Albini and the CTA -- and sourced an all-star line-up of other goods, including Bleeding Heart Bakery treats, New York Bagel and Bialy bagels and Red Hen breads.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul