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This Logan Square Block Is Booming With An Influx Of Unique Businesses

By Paul Biasco | May 12, 2016 5:34am
 Pinot Pallet opened in Logan Square last week offering painting classes in a party-like atmosphere.
Pinot Palet Logan Square
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LOGAN SQUARE — A booming block of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square, anchored by a hulking former Goldblatt's building, gained yet another business this month as the area's transformation forged ahead.

The latest addition to the triangle corner of Milwaukee, Diversey and Kimball avenues is a storefront that features painting classes and booze.

Pinot Palette, which the owners claim is the city's first painting class concept with a full bar, hopes to offer an alternative night out for friends or for special occasions such as birthday parties.

Located inside 2768 N. Milwaukee Ave., it's part of a row of new businesses that are either open or set to open later this week on Milwaukee.

Those other businesses include Hopewell Brewing Co., which opened in February; Unanimous Boxing Gym, which is set to open this summer; Chiya Chai Cafe, which will debut this summer; the new Dill Pickle Food Co-Op; and at least one other unnamed business under construction on the same block.

When the owners of Pinot Palette signed their lease last year, they had no idea so many stores would be opening around them.

"It was a big risk at the time," said Tamara Porfirio, a Logan Square resident who opened Pinot Palette with her husband Tony Porfirio. "There was nothing this way."

Porfirio, who has previously worked as a health care executive, has lived in the neighborhood since the late '90s. She and her husband have been talking about opening their own business for a few years.

They decided on the painting party concept and have been thrilled at the success so far, according to Porfirio.

"It's a party. They aren't going to teach you how to do x, y and z brush strokes," she said. "You are here to have fun."

The two-to-three hour classes are taught by an artist at the front of the room who guides participants through completion of a previously selected painting template.

Two-hour classes are $38 per painter and three-hour classes are $48 per painter, which includes all the required materials minus the booze.

The influx of new businesses in the former Goldblatt's building were part of a push to revitalize the triangle corner of Milwaukee, Diversey and Kimball avenues that dates back at least two years.

The 89-year-old building covers 100,000 square feet, half of which is retail.

The redevelopment of the building and its 49 apartments was an award-winning project that is coming to maturity as long-planned businesses open along Milwaukee.

The work on the building includes terra cotta repair and the replacement of windows to match the original historic look.

Chiya Chai Cafe, a tea shop that will serve 15 options of Chai, is set to open at 2770 N. Milwaukee Ave. this summer, directly adjacent to Pinot Palette.

Unanimous Boxing Gym, a project from a professional boxer who grew up in Albany Park, also plans to open this summer just a storefront away at 2764 N. Milwaukee Ave.

"We are really excited to be in Logan Square. We were looking for spaces there and we found the right space in a really great location," said Chiya Cafe's Rajee Aryal. "The space itself is really beautiful."

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