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Is This the Best Cafe Sign in Chicago?

By Darryl Holliday | June 3, 2015 8:50am

[DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]

LOGAN SQUARE — Is this the best café sign in Chicago?

New Logan Square eatery Same Day Cafe, 2651 N Kedzie Ave., launched with a soft opening in May, but owners say the shop is ready for its close up — beginning with the café’s outdoor moniker, which has already been turning heads.

The red-on-white “CAFÉ” signage is a vestige of the old sign for Alex Cleaners, according to co-owner Dennis Waldvogel, and ghost letters are still visible around the four red letters that remain.

The sign has attracted comments from passersby because of its creative editing: some letters from “Alex Cleaners” have been selectively removed, with the addition of a red “F,” to spell “CAFÉ.”

“We had been converting it for the last few months and we decided to keep the sign,” Waldvogel said. “We thought we should leave it up because it had been there a long time. Now people are walking by, pointing and laughing, and telling us how much they love it.”

As it turns out, the Alex Cleaners sign wasn’t even the name of the last business to set up shop at the Same Day Cafe location, owned by a couple who retired and sold the spot to Waldvogel and his partner Will von Hartz. Waldvogel estimates the sign has been up for around 20 years.

Drink ingredients, food and dough are made in-house, according to co-owner Will von Hartz. [DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]

Same Day Café is more than just coffee, von Hartz said. [DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]

Like its predecessor's, the new signage for Same Day Cafe is simple and direct.  Owners Waldvogel and von Hartz describe their food and drink offerings in much the same way, with a few additional creative touches.

Same Day Café is more than just coffee, von Hartz said. The shop prides itself on its sandwiches, soups and old-school soda fountain-style house drinks like the Jalapeno-Lime and Michigan Tart Cherry.

Waldvogel is a former Rainbo Club bartender and von Hartz is a former employee of Miko’s Italian Ice, a Logan Square and Bucktown staple known locally as a  harbinger of spring weather in the neighborhood. It’s where von Hartz, former operator of Flipside Café, learned a bit of the café/summer drink trade.

Same Day Café also makes all of its offerings in-house, including hand-rolling pastry dough for the “classic chicken pot pie." The shop’s other “simple comfort food” will be created from scratch each day.

Bow Truss coffee is set to open a few doors down from Same Day, but owners of the eatery said they aren’t worried about competing for coffee-seeking customers — Bow Truss owner Phil Tadros stopped by after finding out about Same Day Café during Bow Truss’ construction, and the three business owners quickly came to a friendly common ground, Waldvogel said.

As for the sign — is it the best in Chicago? Waldvogel hesitated to claim the title as he was directly involved in its creation, but von Hartz didn't disagree. The two owners said they're proud to be on the blossoming Logan Square block either way.

[DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday]

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