By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Perhaps it’s not an exciting way to start off Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016.
But here’s what I did on this unseasonably warm and pleasant morning: I went for a long walk in the neighborhood and stopped for a cup of coffee at a new, independent shop just off Milwaukee Avenue, my favorite street in the world.
Sounds innocuous, uneventful, even predictable, right.
My stroll and stop at the Bow Truss shop on Kedzie Avenue gave me an opportunity to break away from my Sunday morning routine of coffee on the couch with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and gain some more insight on the changes taking place in and around Logan Square.
While sitting at the Bow Truss counter, I overheard a conversation between the barista (who hailed from a small town in northern Michigan) and the two guys next to me — one from Toronto, the other from France. All three had been in Chicago for a short time, all were happy to be here, and all looked forward to learning more about the city.
Using my keen powers of observation (remember, I used to be a reporter), I ascertained that other patrons of the establishment, which was a scary bar back in the early 1990s, also moved to the neighborhood recently; they selected Logan Square because it’s become a very desirable place to live and work, and drink good coffee, too.
And, as illustrated in the adjacent image, I brought along some of today’s Sunday newspaper to read while I enjoyed the excellent coffee and relaxed atmosphere.
Bow Truss is just one of the seemingly dozens of new establishments bringing vitality and diversity to Logan Square. More restaurants, bars and even a brewery will open along Milwaukee Avenue in the near future.
These changes, which are leading to dramatically higher rents and housing prices, come in the wake of what some call “gentrification,” or a process where lower-income residents and business get priced out by newcomers.
And, there’s certainly validity in that perspective.
But Bow Truss replacing a long-gone seedy tavern called the Big O is a reflection of many factors, like market dynamics, the economy and shifting demographics.
Hopefully, those who want to live in Logan Square will still be able to do so. I’d welcome to overhear their conversation about the neighborhood the next time I break my Sunday morning routine.
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I’ve written about Logan Square (and Avondale, where we live) before. Here are some past posts.
- A perspective on the popular Logan Square Farmer’s Market from July of 2011.
- Part one of “Fixies, Tats and Fedoras,” my perspective on that distinct urban species — the Hipster.
- And part two of this unscientific Hipster analysis.