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IRL: 'Taste of North Ave' Summer Kickoff June 18 at Free Range Office

By Alisa Hauser | June 2, 2014 7:56am
 Inside Free Range Office's Summer Kickoff party, which will include food, drinks and speed networking.
IRL: Free Range Summer Kickoff June 18
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WICKER PARK — Do you work from home or a coffee shop and are wondering how you can stay focused over the summer?

Free Range Office, a co-working space that caters to "the untethered work force" is opening its doors for a party that will serve as DNAinfo Chicago's next In Real Life (IRL) networking adventure.

Follow the evening's social media highlights using hashtag #DNAIRL here

Scheduled for 6-8 p.m. June 18 at Free Range Office, the "Taste of North Avenue" Summer Kickoff will celebrate the approaching season and Free Range's proximity to several North Avenue restaurants by offering food from Bake, Bon Bon Vietnamese Sandwiches, Piece Pizzeria and Brewery, Jay's Beef of Chicago, Sultan's Market, Life's a Cabernet, Cup & Spoon, Walgreens Upmarket Sushi Cafe and more.

Tickets are $12 and can be bought here. 

Since opening about six months ago, Free Range's second floor loft at 2141 W. North Ave. has become a home base to entrepreneurs, remote and mobile workers who use the 4,000 square foot loft to rent workspace by the hour, day, week and month.

"We have everyone from tech startups to consultants in social media, public relations, people in fashion, graphic artists, just a lot of creative people. It's a fun environment," owner Liane Jackson said.

Jackson said Free Range also provides office space to workers from non-profit groups such as One.org and the Neighborhood Parents Network.

For workers with children, Free Range offers Work/Play, a new weekend co-working with childcare service that offers two hours of supervised play in a separate area of the business, so parents can work uninterrupted in the main area. 

On a recent afternoon, the shelves of Will Patterson's office "pod" were filled with industry books and tchotchkes. 

Though Patterson works with headphones on and stares intently at his computer, the 32-year-old education consultant and Ukrainian Village resident who commutes to Free Range by bicycle said he prefers to work at Free Range rather than in his home.

 The "Taste of North Avenue" Summer Kickoff party at Free Range Office will include sushi from Walgreen's Upmarket Cafe. 
The "Taste of North Avenue" Summer Kickoff party at Free Range Office will include sushi from Walgreen's Upmarket Cafe. 
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"I'm not as efficient when I work from home and while it's not like working in a traditional office where everyone is working on similar things or the same projects, it's still nice to be around other people,"  Patterson said.

Jackson said Patterson is among people using Free Range on a daily basis, working in several setups, such private meeting rooms, team spaces, group offices, open desks, pods and standing tables.

"People who are part of the untethered workforce are excited to have a location where they don't have to go downtown, they can get productive and creative together here," Jackson said

In addition to a buffet with food from the following North Avenue eateries, the party will feature raffle giveaways from North Avenue businesses, too.     

Beef sandwiches with homemade giardiniera from Jay's Beef of Chicago, 2255 W. North Ave.

Banh Mi sandwiches and salad from Bon Bon Vietnamese Sandwiches, 2333 W. North Ave.

Cold brewed coffee and iced tea from Cup & Spoon Cafe, 2415 W. North Ave.

Hummus, falafel and pita from Sultan's Market, 2057 W. North Ave.

Wine from Life's a Cabernet at 1937 W. North Ave.

Cookies from Bake at 2246 W. North Ave.

Pizza from Piece Brewery and Pizza, 1927 W. North Ave.

Sushi from Walgreens Upmarket Sushi Cafe, 1601 N. Milwaukee Ave. (at North Avenue)

Free Range Office, 2141 W. North Ave., 2nd Floor. Phone: 312-725-3063.

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