WICKER PARK — Alliance Bakery & Cafe has taken over the shuttered Banh Mi & Co. storefront and if everything goes as planned, a new Wi-Fi lounge for the shop's customers could be opening within the next few weeks.
The new lounge at 1740 W. Division St. will offer 30 to 40 seats as well as a bathroom, according to Nora Gorshak, a cafe manager.
Once open, Alliance Bakery & Cafe, based at 1736 W. Division St. since the 1920s, will occupy three neighboring Division Street storefronts.
Currently Alliance offers a small seating area at 1738 W. Division, which was reduced by at least half of its size last year when the bakery expanded its kitchen. That space will become a tasting room and possibly a site for upcoming gingerbread house and cookie decorating classes, Gorshak said.
Gorshak said adding a third spot was prompted by a desire to have more room for Alliance's regular customers to stick around. Ordering food and drinks will still take place at 1736 W. Division St. and customers will need to walk outside to get to the lounge, Gorshak said.
Last year, many loyal customers complained about the loss of space in the cafe, which was known for being unusually quiet and "occupied with laptops," according to Metromix.
"The lounge area was cut in half sadly so there isn't much study space anymore!" one Foursquare user lamented.
Hours for the new lounge will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
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