Peach's at Currency Exchange Café | Washington Park | Coffeehouse, Coffee Shop, Southern/Soul Food, American | Coffeehouse
Washington Park cafe from artist Theaster Gates, now serving a mix of Mexican, Filipino, and American food.

Our Review

One of the great milestones in the life of a celebrity is the opening of a restaurant. Theaster Gates reached that point in June when the Currency Exchange Café opened in Washington Park, next door to the Arts Incubator he developed last year as part of the Arts + Public Life Initiative at the University of Chicago. (Taking a leadership role in public life is another milestone.) The cafe is recognizably a Gates project: it's decorated with salvaged pieces, including signs from its former incarnation as, yes, a currency exchange. There's a couch, a wall of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and a big window looking out onto Garfield Boulevard. The coffee is good. You could easily spend an afternoon here. (The basement's also available as an event space.) On the north side, a place like this would be welcome, but not unusual. On the south side, it's important and necessary. But north-siders should check it out, too: it's a mere 20-minute el ride from the Loop.

Aimee Levitt

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