The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Irving Austin Business District People Spot Opens

By Heather Cherone | August 1, 2016 2:05pm | Updated on August 2, 2016 8:46am
 The comfy seating area is outside Perkolator Cafe at McVicker Avenue and Irving Park Road.
The comfy seating area is outside Perkolator Cafe at McVicker Avenue and Irving Park Road.
View Full Caption
Melissa Basilone

PORTAGE PARK — There is now a spot for Far Northwest Siders to take a load off in the Irving Austin Business District.

The "People Spot" outside Perkolator Café at McVicker Avenue and Irving Park Road is officially open, said Joe Basilone, who owns three businesses in the area with his wife, Melissa.

"Things are looking really nice over here," Basilone said.

Although plans for the People Spot were initially dropped, they were resurrected by Basilones, who own Perkolator, Sputnik Books & Records and the Thrift & Thrive resale shop on Irving Park Road.

The husband-and-wife team also owns a fourth storefront on Irving Park Road, which now features decorated storefront windows.

"Eliminating the covered windows was to both make the strip shine as well as help grow awareness for the unique items we offer across the street at Thrift & Thrive," Basilone said.

The couple have big plans for the storefront, which is now used for storage, Basilone said.

"It is a placeholder for eventual expansion at Perkolator, whether that is a full kitchen, a coffee roaster, or both is to be determined," Basilone said.

People spots transform parking spots into playful places for people to gather, officials said. Each people spot costs $8,000, officials said. Concerns about parking spots being removed scuttled plans for the first People Spot to be proposed on the Northwest Side, Melissa Basilone said.

But the People Spot in the Irving Austin Business District won't take the place of any of the district's coveted spots, Melissa Basilone said. Instead, it will be in what is now the fire lane outside Perkolator and the space created by a shortened crosswalk.

The People Spot outside Perkolator is the second to open this summer in Portage Park.

The first opened in June in the Six Corners Shopping District at Milwaukee and Cuyler avenues as part of the neighborhood association's push to make the area more walkable.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: