Log on like a gangsta! How to get decent coffee and free Wi-Fi in Uptown, while trying not to get in the way of the guns. This is the 2nd of a multi-part post on free Wi-Fi in Uptown. To read it from the beginning (which includes a review of the Starbucks at Broadway and Lawrence), click here.
When I’m not manning the kitchen, I’m looking for a spot to drink coffee, grab a bit, and write. In its Log On series, miLam will tell you where to find such places, with free Wi-Fi, in Chicago.
Free Wi-Fi in Uptown
Wilson & Magnolia Starbucks(3 / 5) Sheridan Park (a subdivision of Uptown)
4600 N Magnolia Ave
Now and then murderers seek sanctuary here, but that’s not exactly Starbucks’ fault. In fact, Starbucks’ presence on this corner is like a fort, defending this block from the adjacent hood. So I support this place. Nonetheless, the following advice is warranted: if you’re going to approach this Starbucks from the east, do so on the south side of the street. In other words, on the same side of the street as the college, not the 7-11. Directly across Wilson from the Starbucks is a little strip mall. Do not go there, man. Approach this Starbucks from the north or the west, and you’re cool. Things are a-changing! Update-You can now approach this Starbucks from any direction. However, you still should not visit that strip mall! -11/24/15
Can you work or study here?
Yes. Tons of space. Plugs: Yes – in particular, there’s one outside! This Starbucks has a patio on the side. Nothing fancy, but near the door there’s a plug – so who cares about fancy. Kind of cool if you like to work outside. However, the angle of the sun will make it hard to use your laptop until mid-morning. Bathrooms? Pretty much as you’d expect, except when occupied by fleeing murderers. Alt: If for some reason you want to hang around in Uptown, and you’d feel better about it if you were at a Starbucks, the two locations I’ve mentioned here are your only viable choices. There is an alternative, but it’s inside the Uptown Target … yes, that’s the one where you are the target! Kidding aside, I frequent that Target. Their presence has made this neighborhood better. It’s just that I don’t find those Starbucks-in-a-Store locations very interesting, except that the girl who works the register there told me right out of the blue that she likes my beard. I mean, completely unsolicited. So now I kind of want to go there. Kind of.
Coffee: good, as usual.
Why Choose this Place?
Because you won’t find a plug on the patio at Baker and Nosh. But if it’s summer, that’s the only reason you have for not being there instead of at this Starbucks. B&N’s outdoor seating area is freakin’ awesome. Read more about Baker & Nosh here. Because diversity is a good thing: racial, age, social-cultural background … there’s a wide mix of people here. Because it’s a decent spot in an iffy-but-on-the-mend neighborhood. Once this neighborhood becomes more of a destination, and this S-bucks becomes more than utilitarian, I could see raising it’s score. In the meantime, it’s a workable spot to write and caffeinate, and I’m glad it’s here.
11/7/2013, 8:03 AM
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Continue Reading: Uptown, part 3: Baker & Nosh