Taste of Logan Square

Ben Tanzer - October 22, 2019

Photo by Joerg Metzner, October 27, 2019

Passion House Roaster, Longman & Eagle, Saba, Merchant, The Crab Pad

“I’m Joshua Millman, the owner Passion House Coffee Roasters. Iappreciate that you said I'm inviting because that's the foundation of PassionHouse, to be of service and to be welcoming. When people come here, we treat them like they're part of our family. Logan Square was a unique opportunity. This used to be a Bow Truss coffee shop and it was like a midnight deal. All of asudden, oh wow, I own a coffee shop. I love the community here. I mean, number one, you're with some great company, right? You have, Jason over at Lula, you have Fat Rice right next to us. You have Longman & Eagle. I love the diversity in Logan and it's young. The community aspect is awesome. I want to be involved in the community and I want to connect with as many people aspossible. And I thought with Taste of Logan, you're talking about the culinary aspect, but also the experience of what people are tasting and it’s right up our alley of connecting with people and doing something good. We definitely want to take care of the locals, but we're going to treat everyone the same way. And that's what I respect, inclusiveness and being there for the customers. When you're highlighting good businesses, it's good for everyone. When we talk about the experience, we're talking about not only the coffee, but we're talking about the space. And art is a huge aspect of that for me. It’s about the freedom we can give the artists. It's art for everyone. Amuse did the whole wall on the alley outside and that's for everyone to see. I just see so muchbeauty in how much time these artists take to curate these walls of graffiti. I love that.”  

“My name is Mikhail Schilkey and we're at Longman & Eagle. This is the first Taste of Logan that the chamber has put on, so I feel like it'skind of a no brainer for us to take part in that sort of thing. We've seen this happen in other neighborhoods and it’s a nice way for people who live here tobe reminded of the places in the neighborhood that they used to visit. That's awesome. More personally, I hope this area continues to grow. I consider Longman to be an anchor of the community at this point. Our 10-year anniversary is coming up in January and it's nice to see other small businesses, especially bars and restaurants, venues for culture, for connection, for neighborhood, the community try to make it in the neighborhood. It's my hope that the characterof the neighborhood, something that's made this place so attractive to begin with, will remain intact as they have in other neighborhoods we've seen around us. Ultimately we hope Logan Square continues to grow in a sustainable way and in a way that maintains its character. As far as people coming into the neighborhood, I hope they feel like they're part of a community rather than just visiting. You know, you go over to Wrigleyville, you can have fun, you watch the baseballgame, do whatever, but it's not like you feel like you're part of it. Whereas you come here, you sit down in any number of other cool bars, talk to the bartender, learn about a local music show or something like that versus just stopping by and being a visitor. In terms of art, I make a distinction between graffiti and street art. That's not to say that all of it has to be sanctioned, but there’s somenoise out there too, like tagging and vandalizing in the neighborhood, an it’s a bummer for businesses. But then there are other places you, like walls next to vacant lots where you're not stepping on anybody's toes. That's a canvas essentially.” 

“This is Saba and I'm Esam Hani, the owner. The Taste of Logan Square means a lot to me because I want to be a neighborhood restaurant and Iwant to cater to the neighbors and the neighborhoods that we're in. I'm a neighborhood guy. I grew up here. I want to support the neighborhood, myneighborhood, and my neighbors coming in to patronize us. There’s also the exposure. We're a new restaurant. We've been open a little bit over a year. We want to get the out there. We're involved in all the neighborhood activities and events that get people to come in. I want to see a growth. I want to see a mix of residents in here. I came here when the neighborhood was very, very simple and now it's growing. I want those people to stay here and I want there to be a nice mix of people. Every day of the week, Monday through Friday from four to six, the kids eat for free. These are the things that we're doing for our neighbors. Come in and have a nice little dinner. You don't have to cook once or twice a week. It still feels like a neighborhood to me. I love it here. And I love art. When graffiti is put on special walls where its treated as art, I have nothing against it. When they put it on my storefront or something like that, that’s vandalism at that point. There's a proper place to put art. I love culture. I love art. But not on our store. We're trying to present a good place for people to experience.” 

“My name is Christopher Huizar and we’re at Merchant [now closed]. The reasons I’m participating in The Taste of Logan Square is two fold. One I'm on the board, and two, it's about exposure. If we sell 150 tickets, I would presume the 80% or so of the participants have never been here. Any kind of increase in business on a slow night is positive and any time we get to meet some new faces is also positive. What this does is expose a lot of potential transplants or people who don't live in the neighborhood to some of the lesser known, really great quality food places in the neighborhood. There's some great restaurants on our block that don't get all the love that some of the larger places get. Generally, the whole reason we decided to open in this neighborhood was people actually know each other’s names and care about each other. My hope is that the neighborhood can maintain this. Also, when it comes to street art, generally, in other neighborhoods, or other cities, those neighborhoods have the most character.” 

“I’m Theresa and I’m originally from San Jose, California. The Crab Pad has been open for three years. I just joined the chamber and they toldme about The Taste of Logan Square. I thought it would be a good opportunity to open up the doors to people that haven't been here and haven't heard about us. It took me six months of figuring out what neighborhood I wanted to be in. When Imoved to Chicago, I didn't really know the neighborhood. I drove around each neighborhood and I kind of fell in love with Logan Square. I felt like there was diversity. It was a little bit different than the other neighborhoods. It's not segregated and I really liked that. I felt more at home here. The people now are very supportive. I hope that as the neighborhood changes it will still have the same people, and that people will hear about the diversity and the friendliness of the neighborhood. I understand that Logan Square is changing and there’s gentrification, and all of that is good stuff or bad, based on who you're speaking to. But I just hope that the energy remains the same. We actually dive into all the things that the neighborhood loves and so we chose a few local artists from around the neighborhood when we first opened to decorate and put their work on our walls. Brain Killer was the first person that reached out to us when we created our Instagram page, so we chose him and then he introduced us to other artists to showcase on the wall.”