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Awake Cafe Gets Warm Welcome From Noble Square Neighbors

 Awake Cafe is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday at 1357 W. Chicago Ave.
Awake Cafe is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday at 1357 W. Chicago Ave.
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Awake Cafe

NOBLE SQUARE — Awake Cafe is celebrating its arrival to the neighborhood with a grand opening party Saturday.

The new spot, which had a soft opening in the former Swim Cafe storefront at 1357 W. Chicago Ave. in May, will have food and drink samples, prizes, face painting and free gifts from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The cafe opens at 8 a.m. that day and will be open until 5 p.m. after the party winds down.

Deb McKinney, who owns the cafe with her husband, Harry McKinney, said they've received a warm reception from neighboring business owners who have come in to greet them since they've arrived.

"It was just unexpected and wonderful," she said.

The McKinneys, who live in the South Loop, also own an Awake Cafe at Stroger Hospital as well as four other coffee shops in the city.

The cafe's menu includes sandwiches, salads, wraps, smoothies, Metropolis coffee, Benjamin Tea selections and the frozen "chillucino," an espresso drink. The McKinneys also offer a number of vegan items.

And those missing Swim Cafe might be happy to know that they've kept some of the menu, including the tri-color veggie sandwich, some gluten-free pastries and the seitan gyro sandwich.

Noble Square already feels perfect for creating the community space she had in mind for Awake Cafe, Deb McKinney said.

"You walk down the street and people say hi, and they're friendly and they're interested in knowing who you are," she said.

After settling in, she hopes to eventually start hosting neighborhood events in the cafe.

But first, "we want to get to know our neighbors and get to know the community," she said.

Awake Cafe, 1357 W. Chicago Ave., is open from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday