Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Friday and Istria/Cornell is OPEN

posted by chicago pop

Why is this day different from all other days? asks the child of his father.

Because on this day, Istria Cafe opened its branch on Cornell, the father replies.

Yay, and though they were held in bondage by Pharoah's armies of permit inspectors -- some 19 years old and unqualified, others qualified for corruption, the rest caught up in Pharoah's Mother of All Bureaucracies -- today the coffee-makers are free to brew espresso for commuters.

And for this we are thankful, and dip our biscotti in honey.

And on this day, we will only drink Red Bull, to remember the 2+ years we waited for coffee at this location. And though we hold no grudges against Pharoah, because Istria was once in bondage, we see now all the other small businesses that still are.

Woe to cheap landlords and to other harassers! May the stones of their neglected and overpriced buildings crumble upon their heads.

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

Where is it again? And will anything ever happen to that nook in the viaduct?

Zig & Lou said...

Ahhh, the stories that can be told about small business development in Chicago and dealing with the City. But the stories must wait, we must not anger the mystical beings on Mount 121 N. LaSalle.

Elizabeth Fama said...

This post made me laugh out loud.

C-Pop, you're mad...but in good way.

chicago pop said...

I just got my first coffee there.

It's gorgeous. The gelato case is half again as big as on 57th Street, and there's more room.

AND IT'S OPEN TIL 10PM ON WEEKNIGHTS.

The revolution has begun, and it will be caffeinated.

chicago pop said...

Jennifer: the new Istria is in the Hyde Park Art Center on Cornell between 51st and 50th.

As for that nook in the 51st St. viaduct, dunno. It's a waterless grotto. Metra needs to invest if it wants a tenant there.

rdb said...

"Waterless grotto." Sounds sublimely oxymoronic. Perhaps you mean "grotto" in the sense of a subterranean locale once inhabited by prehistoric humans, rather than "grotto," a picturesque cave by the sea periodically flooded by waves and tides?

chicago pop said...

Perhaps you mean "grotto" in the sense of a subterranean locale once inhabited by prehistoric humans, rather than "grotto," a picturesque cave by the sea periodically flooded by waves and tides?

Exactly. I'm glad someone around here understands me.

J/tati said...

You can never have enough coffee or gelato vendors in a neighborhood like HP. I'm busy lobbying my new neighbors to make the leap. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Lundy's on 53rd has a freezer full of Mexican-style fruit popsicles: mango, banana, fresas, etc.

LPB said...

I absolutely love the new Istria and welcome its addition (and gelato) to the neighborhood. Thank goodness it actually stays open past sundown on weeknights, and it seemed to be fairly well populated yesterday evening (Sunday) around 7:15.

Guilty confession: I love everything about Istria, except for the coffee. To me, it always seems to have a bitter, charred flavor. And it doesn't matter whether I get an espresso bar drink or the regular brewed coffee -- the charred flavor profile is still there. We've actually purchased whole beans from Istria before and brewed it up at home with stellar results -- no bitter char-ness. Can anyone explain to me what Istria is doing that brings about the charred flavor? Is this deliberate? Do other customers *like* it?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Otto said...

To me, it always seems to have a bitter, charred flavor.

I haven't noticed this with the plain brewed stuff, but I find it to be pronounced with the espresso. Rather than bitter and burnt, though, I taste sour and burnt, a weird combination of over- and underextraction.

Location, location, location.