Coffee Is Religion at Star Lounge

Coffee at Star Lounge is part skill, gift, science and art but mostly love.

By Camille Izlar
Hapless Intern


Walking into Star Lounge, I was immediately struck by the ambiance of tattoos, colored hair and tasteful leather boots. Instead of popping open my MacBook like everyone else, I jotted on my notepad – I wanted to be as eclectic (and slightly counter culture) as this place felt.


While the vibe read casual, the coffee was certainly not.


All I needed was one cup of the humble home brew to know that I would be coming back here to work the next day (and probably for many days after that). Star Lounge is one of several coffee shops roasting their own beans, as Steve recently highlighted. The taste of a cup of Dark Matter speaks for itself.


Last week in an emergency situation on a 12-hour road trip, I had fast food coffee. It made me question my cultural identity as a coffee drinker. It made me want to defy my caffeine addicted lifestyle. It even made me want to switch to tea! Fortunately, Star Lounge has quieted my fears, bringing me back to reality with its rich blends and killer taste.


In the highly competitive coffee world, some say it’s not enough to have great coffee, you have to provide a comfortable workspace. I say that great coffee combined with great people can engender that atmospheric perfection. The mug I gratefully sipped on hailed from Revolution Brewery, right down the road. Star created the mugs as part of their local business promotional efforts.  The menu board included details for tonight’s show at the Double Door, as well as a neighborhood art exhibit. The shelves behind the bar held Co-op Sauce, locally made and sold. These and other details point to a burgeoning sense of the local community – in a small town way. Unlike many of our elite Chicago coffee houses, Star boasts an accessible, approachable feel. No one will judge you for asking what’s involved in a “Shiratado.”


Note: due to it’s excellence, Star is often crowded. But the friendly individuals here are more than willing to share a chair and slide over. So bring that last tin of Christmas cookies to share and settle in.

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