Cafe Mustache plans expansion

Logan Square cafe launches Kickstarter campaign to fund

  • The owners of Cafe Mustache
The owners of Cafe Mustache
June 03, 2013|By Elite Truong, @elitetruong

Logan Square’s Cafe Mustache is growing fast. The popular neighborhood coffee shop known for weekly concerts and vegan-friendly lunch options recently launched a Kickstarter to expand the cafe’s current space.

Owners Kerry Couch, Ralph Darski and James Stieglitz had talked about wanting to expand, so when a neighboring salon vacated their space, they decided to take over the lease and turned to Kickstarter to help fund the expansion.

The cafe hosts live music shows four days a week in a small space that has room for only a few tables. In the last few weeks, large music groups such as The Blue Ribbon Glee Club have played and highlighted the need for more room for both performers and customers. “They filled the whole space,” Couch said. She along with co-owners Ralph Darski and James Stieglitz opened the cafe in Logan Square a few years ago to provide a creative space for local artists.

A doorway will be built to connect the current cafe to the neighboring space, where there will be additional seating and a designated space for a series of music and arts events called “Cafe Mustache Presents.”

Darski, a musician himself, plans to produce shows and feature local music on his record label, Commune Records. Couch hopes to partner with galleries such as Peanut Gallery in Humboldt Park to curate an art series featuring local artwork and continue hosting events such as the pop-up Speakeasy nights.

The cafe’s Kickstarter campaign goal aims to raise $20,000 by June 28, which will cover cost of construction, permitting, inspections and other building fees.

"There will probably never be another Cafe Mustache,” Couch said further expansion, “but we’re interested in engaging other areas of the community."

Couch has seen an outpouring of support from the community with the current campaign and hopes it will help other aspiring small business owners set up shop in the neighborhood.

“Crowd-funding is really helpful for people who don’t have a ton of capital but have a lot of inspiration and are into hard work," Couch said. It made a lot of sense for us.”

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