Places to hang out in Chicago Loop
June 16, 2010 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for places where I can get some writing done on a Sunday afternoon in Chicago ...

I'll be in Chicago this weekend, and have some time to kill (from 2 pm to 6 pm) before my train leaves Union Station. I'll already have checked out of the hotel by then, but expect to leave my luggage there. There's some writing I need to get done, and I was wondering if anybody knew of good places to spend a couple of hours with ready access to a power supply and wireless internet access. Tasty beverages and snacks would be a plus, but optional. And preferably within walking distance of Union Station or the W Hotel in the Loop.
posted by needled to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (10 answers total)
There's a Panera right across the river from Union Station, which offers free wifi.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:11 PM on June 16, 2010

posted by Cosine at 12:17 PM on June 16, 2010

Best answer: Argo Tea is a good spot; there's one at Franklin and Madison, and it's open on Sundays until 5 pm; another at the corner of Dearborn and Madison that's open until 7 pm. Argo has free wifi, great teas (and coffee) and good snacks.
posted by devinemissk at 12:27 PM on June 16, 2010

The downtown Harold Washington library is open from 1-5pm on Sunday. It's a bit of a hike from the train station if you're dragging luggage.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:32 PM on June 16, 2010

Intelligentsia Coffee is 3.5 blocks from your hotel, open until 7 pm on Sundays, and serves some of the best coffee I have had in my life.

Potential downsides: It can be on the bustling side, although I haven't had trouble getting a seat on Sunday afternoons in the past. And you have to get a new wi-fi code every hour, which I believe means you'll need to buy a total of four beverages or snacks if you intend to spend four hours there.
posted by willbaude at 12:43 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

...yes, forgot to mention that Argo's wifi comes in 2-hour chunks with purchase.

But I'm also going second willbaude's suggestion of Intelligentsia, too. That is some damn good coffee. FYI, their snacks are generally limited to the sweet variety.
posted by devinemissk at 12:59 PM on June 16, 2010

Best answer: There's also an Intelligentsia at about Jackson & Dearborn...closer to both your hotel and Union station than the Millenium Park location. And it's only about 1.5 blocks from the Harold Washington library, as previously mentioned.

Also, Epic Burger is a pretty neat place, another 1/2 block from the library, which I distinctly remember having an absurd number of outlets (although I'm not sure about the wireless).
posted by gueneverey at 3:59 PM on June 16, 2010

nthing Intelligentsia . . . If only I could be there with you this Sunday.
posted by sunnichka at 4:38 PM on June 16, 2010

I think Epic has wireless. If it doesn't, there's a Panera in the same building that DOES have wireless. I highly recommend Epic Burger.

(And gueneverey, the Intelligentsia in the Monadnock building is only open M-F. Alas.)

To be honest, though, neither Epic nor the library is really all that close to Union Station. They're not unreasonably far, but a lot depends on where your hotel is. If you're staying on the east side of the Loop, it'll make a lot more sense to go to the library, Epic, or the Panera by Epic -- all on the south east side of the Loop -- than have to go west to an Argo or Panera and then double back to get your luggage.
posted by devinemissk at 5:08 PM on June 16, 2010

The Chicago Cultural Center is within walking distance from your hotel (Michigan between Washington and Randolph). There's free wifi and a cafe inside, and there's a bunch of tables on the main floor...however I'm not sure about access to a power supply. There's also a couple of art galleries on the first and fourth floor and it's a pretty neat building to explore.
posted by hooray at 6:28 PM on June 16, 2010

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