Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pillars Social Cafe Opens

The eagerly anticipated Pillars Social Cafe has at last opened up in the vast corner commercial space in the 1200 W. Pratt building, at Pratt and Sheridan, and this formerly moribund corner now has two attractive alternatives to the corporate Starbucks down the block. The glossy,stylish cafe has a full compliment of coffee house fare, including hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries. Prices range from $7 to $9 for most menu items, and $2 to $4 for most pastries, with a less expensive children's menu.

I've stopped in a couple of times for pastries and a Pillars Panini, and am pretty well pleased.  The service is very courteous, and the place gleams with cleanliness and is very well-staffed. Opening a large restaurant in the current economic climate takes a lot of courage, but the bet looks like it might work, for every table was occupied when I stopped in this afternoon, and the place has been fairly well filled every time I've passed it on the weekend in the afternoon.

Here is hoping this great place will succeed rapidly and stay in the neighborhood for a long time.


Al Iverson said...

My wife and I are loving this place so far. I hope it succeeds!

The North Coast said...

I love the place, too. I live in the building next door (the big courtyard) and I've loved watching this corner develop. Everyone's been hoping that a nice restaurant opens up here, especially after the demise of my beloved RoPa. I just hope the building's ownership renovates that neglected plaza. It could be so attractive and inviting, and help out the two restaurants in the building a lot.

consultant said...

North Coast,

Glad to see you back. Looking forward to reading your posts.

consultant said...

Thumbs up for local business.

Speaking of Starbucks, they are starting a pilot program in Atlanta and LA where they will serve beer and wine after 5pm.

Maybe the Starbucks business plan is for it to become a bar.

Next? Giant tvs. Sports bar on the weekends.

It could happen.

The North Coast said...

Hi consultant, glad to hear from you.

I hope to be posting much more frequently from this point forward, but we'll see.

I guess Starbucks isn't happy with total market saturation and has to grab the liquor biz, too. Or maybe traffic has really dropped off as people cut the flab out of stressed budgets.

I'm tired of it and make a point of patronizing local places with my scarce dollars. I'm uncovering a large number of charming little places in Rogers Park and Edgewater that serve better sweets and cheaper coffee, two categories 'bucks has been falling down in. Their pastries suddenly became much smaller and much more expensive at the same time. $2.50 for a tiny one-bite cake lollipop is the last straw.