The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

North Side Review: Stubbs Coffee

By Andrew Jenkins in Food on Dec 15, 2006 4:00PM


We stopped by Stubbs, our neighborhood’s new coffee shop, the other night and inquired about its name. Along with some damn good Fratelli coffee and a nice salami/provolone panini, we left Stubbs that evening with some literary insight that had slipped by us in high school. Pierce Schmidt, Stubbs co-owner, told us that in Moby Dick, Starbuck was Ahab’s first mate on the Pequod and Stubb was the second mate. After we visited CliffsNotes to confirm these details, Stubbs' name took on a different meaning and we liked the place even more. Were we the only ones who didn’t know the origin of Starbucks’ title?


In any case, this stretch of Lincoln Ave. was a bit of a local coffee shop wasteland before last month when Schmidt and his friend Doug Bonar opened the place. Schmidt’s wife actually owns the knitting store next door to Stubbs, so they knew how badly the neighborhood needed something like this. Schmidt himself said that some people in the area just don’t want to push their strollers across Irving Park for Starbucks.

Luckily, now they won’t have to. Because of the store’s limited amounting of cooking space, Schmidt says they decided to fill their menu with items they could bring in from local shops. Their beans come straight from Schiller Park’s Fratelli Coffee Company. We believe we had a cup of the Fratelli's Finest and it was smooth and delicious. Fratelli is not only a local coffee institution, but it makes us think about the Fratellis from Goonies every time. Both breakfast pastries from Bennison's Bakery in Evanston, and cupcakes and cookies from Hot Chocolate are brought in weekly. The sandwiches, like the salami and provolone panini we had, are made in house from fresh ingredients and cover the typical panini fare. The owners are looking for some good soup and salad options to bring in and add to the menu as well.

To boot, the part simplistic, part kitschy interior is right on the money. You can grab a chair at one of the small tables, sit on a stool in the window or take up a spot on the couch. Mix in a good sound system and free wireless Internet (take that Filter!) and you’ve got one stellar coffee joint. We expect this place to get some serious business, so the only potential problem we see Stubbs facing is a space constraint. After a few months, seating may be at a premium and you could find yourself heading out the door with coffee to go.

Stubbs is located at 3827 N. Lincoln Ave.; Phone (773) 477-9840; Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.