We’re getting close to opening our new Chicago shared office and coworking space in the Wicker Park neighborhood. We’re thrilled to be a part of the neighborhood and look forward to providing those in the area with an exceptional place to work.
Wicker Park has been a prominent neighborhood in Chicago since it was first developed in 1870 after the Great Chicago Fire. Below are some facts about the neighborhood that may come as a surprise to those living and working in Wicker Park today.
Wicker Park is the setting for the 2004 film of the same name. Filming was actually done in Montreal, Quebec, though. The 2000 film High Fidelity also uses Wicker Park as its base and was filmed in the neighborhood.
Most people consider the borders of Wicker Park to be the 606 trail to the north, Ashland Avenue to the east, Division to the south and Western to the west.
Division Street was once known as “Polish Broadway” during the period when the Polish Downtown area was popular in the 1800s. The intersection of Ashland, Division and Milwaukee was considered Polish Downtown during this period. It is now in the Wicker Park neighborhood. Assemble’s new Wicker Park location is just west of the intersection and its CTA Blue Line stop.
Wicker Park once had its own newspaper. In 1900, The Wicker Park Eagle began printing. Its masthead said it was “The North-West Sides Most Exquisite Newspaper. Spicy and Clean”.
Looking for a beautiful, private office to work out of in Wicker Park? Click here to learn more about our new Wicker Park shared office and coworking space.
Assemble’s new location at 1720 W Division Street in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood opens in February. We covered reasons to work in Wicker Park in our blog post in November. One of the reasons is the fantastic food options in the neighborhood. Assemble Wicker Park is within walking distance of many diverse restaurants. Below are some of our favorite spots for lunch in the neighborhood.
Foxtrot is anchoring our new Wicker Park location. Foxtrot is a curated convenience store. One of the great things about Foxtrot, especially for Assemble members, is that they deliver. Sure, you could run downstairs and pick up a sandwich or soup at their store. If you’re in the middle of a project or on a conference call, you may just want to hop on their web site (www.foxtrotco.com) and place a quick lunch order. It’ll show up in under an hour.
This popular breakfast and lunch spot recently opened about a block west of Assemble Wicker Park. Their menu features some great burger, sandwich, soup and salad options. They have an extensive breakfast menu as well.
Yolk is located at 1819 W Division Street. Check out their menu and more at www.eatyolk.com.
If you’re in the mood for barbecue, Smoke Daddy is your place. This longtime Wicker Park staple offers ribs, chicken, pulled pork and more. Smoke Daddy expanded a few years ago and is now more than twice as large as it used to be.
Smoke Daddy is located at 1804 W Division Street. Check out their web site at www.thesmokedaddy.com.
If you need your pizza fix, Pizza Metro is an excellent option. They offer authentic Roman square pizza. Their menu includes many specialty pizzas, including prosciutto and arugula pizza, capriccios (artichokes, ham and black olives) pizza and our favorite, potato and rosemary. Salads, paninis, pasta, soups and entrees are also available.
Pizza Metro is located at 1707 W Division Street, just steps away from Assemble Wicker Park. Check out their web site at www.pizzametro.com.
The Fifty 50 is a great choice for lunch if you’re hoping to catch a sports game during your lunch break. The large sports bar has an extensive menu. You’ll find a variety of salads, multiple wing options, a large burger list, other sandwiches and more.
The Fifty 50 is located at 2047 W Division Street in Wicker Park. Visit their web site at www.thefifty50.com.
These are just a few of the many excellent options for lunch near Assemble Wicker Park. Contact us today to learn more about Assemble’s newest coworking space.
We’re thrilled to have Foxtrot anchoring our new Chicago Wicker Park location! Learn more at the link below.
Here’s what they say about Assemble:
“OKW Architects (designer of Eataly) created this workspace. Assemble has co-working spaces in the West Loop and in the Gold Coast/Old Town, and a location in Wicker Park is scheduled to open in November. Membership provides access to all. The West Loop space is Assemble’s biggest, at 14,000 square feet and 50 offices. The dog-friendly loft has a cozy feeling, with brick columns and wooden tables. Bike storage, conference room access, coffee and snacks, 24-hour access and weekly networking events are included.”
Our Wicker Park location is scheduled to open in January!
Chicago Ideas Week Starts Monday, October 16. It features an impressive array of speakers and events meant to foster creativity and innovation. The schedule can be a little overwhelming, but if you’re planning on attending the events below may be a good starting point for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Saint John has an impressive resume. Before taking on her current role at Uber, she was the Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music an iTunes. With Uber issues seeming to pop up on a weekly basis, it will be interesting to hear from the person in charge of maintaining a positive brand image. She’ll take part at the “A Seat at the Table: Finding Equal Footing through Storytelling” event on Thursday, October 19 at 7 pm.
Whole Foods has been at the forefront of the natural and organic grocer movement and is now a $15.7 billion Fortune 500 company. Mackey will be taking part in the “A World With(Out)” event on Tuesday, October 17. It will be interesting to see if he discusses Whole Foods’ recent deal with Amazon during the event about a changing world.
Bobbi Brown launched her make up company in 1991, and it has grown into a hugely successful business. She recently left the company to launch Beauty Evolution, a lifestyle platform celebrating confidence, wellness and beauty through empowerment. Brown will be a part of the “Innovating from Within: When the Entrepreneurial Spirit Never Stops” event on October 17, where she will likely discuss her reasons for leaving her successful company to start a new business.
If you’re concerned about your ability to speak in public or to engage your clients during pitch meetings, Sally Lou Loveman’s event on Saturday, October 21, may be one you don’t want to miss. Entitled “Engaging an Audience with Sally Lou Loveman”, the event is intended to help attendees win an audience over and speak with confidence, no matter the setting.
Learn more about all of the events happening at this year’s Chicago Ideas Week at chicagoideas.com.
Kerry Butz is Assemble’s new community manager at our Chicago West Loop coworking space. We’re thrilled for her to be a part of the team. We asked Kerry to answer a few questions to help our community get to know her a little better. Below are her answers!
I enjoy getting to know people and helping make connections between either people or businesses. In addition to that, each day at Assemble is different. I like that my job wouldn’t be monotonous or repetitive day by day.
I was raised in the surburbs of Chicago and I live in a different suburb now than I grew up in. I live in Arlington Heights – city dwellers may know about it just for the horse race track that is owned by the same people that own Churchill Downs. Anytime anyone is in the area to place bets at Arlington Park – give me a ring! I live down the street.
When I’m not working, I like to get together with my friends and family for themed parties. Also, I enjoy a good afternoon on the couch binging on Netflix or Hulu shows. In the fall I live for college football!
In my previous roles I’ve worn many hats – accountant, lobbyist, educator, philanthropist, grant solicitor… I have planned more events, organized more casual fun parties, and networked my way through more businesses and politicians than I care to count… but it’s always fun when I get to meet new people, get to learn about them, and enhance their personal or business experience.
Even though I’m not in Minneapolis, I do LOVE The Brit Pub there! (Fun fact: they accept the Pound Sterling as payment on their bills.) In Chicago… man… I frequent either one of the Elephant & Castle locations for happy hours with my friends, I love doing wine and cheese plates at Bin 36 (also in the West Loop), and I’m always up for a good hole-in-the-wall place that my friends suggest like the Sidestreet Saloon in Lakeview.
Assemble member Cara Hotz Style is launching their new Style Springboard program today. Cara Hotz Style has been a member of our Chicago West Loop coworking space since shortly after it opened. We’re excited to see them grow!
We spoke with Founder, President and CEO Cara Hotz about the new program.
I believe very much that personal style is a life skill. And I know from experience that cultivating my own personal style over time, quite simply it makes me feel great. It helps me make my mark in the world with confidence, and I want to share that feeling with everyone. Personal style is like any life skill; the more you do it, the better and more confident you get. Though, for most people, it’s not easy to know how to start, so I created Style Springboard™. It’s a first step to creating a Style Practice™ that’s based on all the things that make you, you. so that you have the confidence to live your own style across the whole of your life.
Style Springboard™ is our first-ever self-guided online style program. It’s designed to help you flip the script on how you think about your style and to show you how to bring your own creativity and sense of purpose to your personal style across the whole of your life.
The “Tools, Not Rules” idea came to me like a bolt, honestly. I had a great opportunity to speak to a group of professional women in Chicago, and at this event, there was also a personal stylist presenting. I noticed that all the questions that the audience asked her were almost exclusively about fashion rules, like “what color tights go with navy skirt suits?” and “other than black, what color shoes can I wear with black tights?” (a lot of tights concerns among this group).
It struck me as ironic that these smart, capable, ambitious women are so focused on arbitrary fashion rules. There didn’t seem to be confidence in the way they were making their style decisions.
That’s when the difference between Cara Hotz Style and traditional style-focused consultants became so strikingly apparent. It came to me: “Tools, Not Rules”. I’ve incorporated design thinking into how we create strategies for a lifetime of cultivating your own Style Practice with confidence. Instead of rules to follow, our programs give you tools to use so that you can live your own style.
That’s a big question! What I find most interesting about inspirations and influences is making ways to integrate them into my own Style Practice, in how I dress, how I create my home and office, and even how to bring them to life in things like notes to friends or parties or what have you. I get inspired by the art of Ellsworth Kelly, particularly his use of striking, dynamic planes of color, and mid-century modern design, especially the idea of celebrating materials in aesthetics and presentation. One of the people that inspire me is Eileen Stritch for her strong, strong sense of self. She was a cut-to-the-chase, sophisticated, and supremely talented person. And she was so dedicated to her own style that she didn’t wear pants! Her sartorial uniform of long button-down shirts, black tights, and flats—as an octogenarian. And she oozed life and confidence. She was “Live Your Own Style” to the max!
You can start your free trial immediately right here. Come give our “Tools, Not Rules” approach to style a try and flip the script on how you think about personal style. I think you’ll love it!
Learn more about Cara Hotz Style’s Style Springboard program at toolsnotrules.carahotz.com/courses/style-springboard.
Assemble was recently named one of the top 5 coworking spaces in Chicago. Their article says, “We did some research and identified the 5 most exciting coworking spaces in the city. If you’re in Chicago or hiring a remote employee, we recommend you check out these offices. They might be just what you’re looking for.”
They write about Assemble, “The month-to-month lease ensures that your office space can grow as quickly as your company does. There is also no long-term commitment. The free conference rooms are a nice perk too!”
Stacklist is a web site that was formed last year. The web site curates the best business tools for startups based on hundreds of interviews with the smartest entrepreneurs.
We’re thrilled to welcome Kendra Sandsmark as the new community manager at our Chicago West Loop location. We thought it’d be a good idea to let Kendra tell everyone a little bit about herself through the blog. Check out her answers to a few questions below. Be sure to introduce yourself the next time you’re at the Chicago West Loop space!
I was looking for a career change since I was in luxury retail management for the last 13 years. I love supporting my team and helping them with their daily needs so they can succeed. I am fascinated by the shared office structure and love that this office has many unique and amazing companies. I am also fascinated by weekends. What are they? What do you do on weekends? I love the schedule!
I was raised in Baltimore, Maryland and came to Chicago many moons ago to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have been here ever since, and love this town!
I like to spend time catching up with friends, and entertaining at my new condo. I also love designing wedding invitations in my spare time.
My work background is in customer service, sales and support. Being in retail, the customer always comes first, and this means the Assemble member is my first priority. The Assemble family is my new team!
Wait, do I have to pick a favorite? My favorite two bars would be Fox Bar at Soho House, and Lost Lake. My favorite restaurant, is actually not in Chicago! It is called Sketch, and it is one of the most unique spots in London. I dream about this place!
You can email Kendra at firstname.lastname@example.org. Members, you can also message her through the member portal!
Tired of the stressful drive to work each morning? Is the “L” or light rail too crowded? Biking to work provides many benefits to your physical health, mental health and efficiency. Below are five reasons why biking to work may be your best way to commute.
With the exception of the cost of your actual bike, riding it to work each day is free. You’ll save a surprising amount of money when you don’t need to pay for public transportation or parking every day.
Members of Assemble’s Chicago and Minneapolis shared office spaces enjoy free bike storage as well. And if you don’t own your own bike, our members receive exclusive discounts on Divvy shared bikes.
Being stuck in traffic or crammed in a train car can be stressful first thing in the morning. It might not be the best way to start your day. Riding your bike allows you freedom during your commute. You can ride past car congestion or take an alternate route to avoid construction.
Your bike is a gym on wheels. You’ll burn calories and get your blood flowing before your work day starts. Biking is a great cardiovascular workout. It’s also a great way to start working out if you haven’t done so in a while because it isn’t as taxing on your body as running or other fitness exercises.
Whether you work at one of Assemble’s two Chicago coworking spaces or at our Minneapolis space, you’re in a city that is pretty bike friendly. Minneapolis has consistently ranked at or near the top of lists of the most bike-friendly cities in the world (Star Tribune). Chicago is consistently named in the top ten biking city in the US by Bicycling Magazine (Minneapolis is #1 this year).
Since 2012, you can get up to $20/month in tax-free reimbursements for biking to work. You just need to bike at least three days/week. The reimbursement covers bike repairs, storage costs and other expenses (More info).