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Inside Stax Cafe, Bringing River West a Brunch Patio Next Week

The space could redefine the Milwaukee, Grand, and Halsted intersection

Stax Cafe is almost ready to open.
Barry Brecheisen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The second location of Stax Cafe, a Taylor Street breakfast favorite for eight years, opens on Tuesday at the intersection of Milwaukee, Grand, and Halsted with a pie-shaped patio that redefines the West Town block. It’ll serve pancakes, juices, and cocktails in the mornings and afternoons as owner Spiro Tsaldaris imagines weekend customers soaking up sunshine on the patio holding cocktails made by his wife, Heather.

Tuesday’s a try out, Tsaldaris warns. They’ll have regular hours on Wednesday when all systems will be go. They’ve brought back some design elements from Taylor Street including lots of orange and the overhead grid. There’s nothing to the color scheme, Tsaldaris said, it just worked out over the last eight years and they’ll keep it the same.

There’s room for 139 people inside with 43 on the patio. There’s also an eight-seat counter where customers can watch staff make fresh-squeezed juices, coffee drinks, and cocktails. Take a tour through the space below. Stax Cafe opens on Tuesday at 522 N. Milwaukee Avenue.

Stax Cafe features a pie-shaped patio at the corner of Halsted, Grand, and Milwaukee.
The main entrance is on Milwaukee.
The windows provide plenty of great sunlight.
It’s a modern diner inside.
The ceiling fixture is like a waffle — is it time for waffles?
Every good diner has a counter.
This space should be busy on the weekends.
Who wants a window seat?
Down the corridor away from the kitchen.
Perhaps the chalkboard will feature daily specials.

Stax Cafe II

522 W. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 312-877-5055 Visit Website