Caffe Streets – Chicago, Illinois
Friday 14 Jun 2013


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Located on Wicker Park's vibrant Division Street, Caffe Streets balances a "social" coffee house atmosphere with a highly functional Masters Barista bar designed for craft coffee making.

Reinforcing the owner's belief that the street is a vital component of our urban community, elements of the street are brought into the cafe.  As you enter, a seven foot tall photo light-box of the neighborhood's famous six-corner intersection greets guests.  Above the chrome and dark wood of the coffee bar, the baristas' work is illuminated by retrofitted Chicago streetlights while a wide storefront displays to the street the intimate 1,000 square foot interior space and backlit coffee bar.  The polished concrete floors underfoot physically and visually connect with the city sidewalks.

Marbled bamboo plywood also gives the space a sense of warmth reminiscent of the shop's inspiration.  The plywood material is carried throughout the space, on the custom communal tables, chairs, wall paneling and the CNC-sculpted ceiling.  The layered ceiling is inspired by the baristas artistic pouring of steamed milk into coffee. The seating plan maximizes occupancy and circulation.  The traditional walk up espresso counter further encourages interaction and reaffirms the cafe's symbiotic relationship with its community.

The coffee equipment that aids in brewing the perfect cup is further accented by the custom stainless steel "pour-over" bar counter while the unusual brewing devices on display create a laboratory setting.  The notion of perfecting the product is a recurring theme in Caffe Streets.

Norsman architects