Chicago is certainly not short on coworking spaces, but sometimes you need a place to work that’s a bit different. A way to change up your routine, see things from a new perspective, and get a fresh infusion of energy.
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We asked Chicago entrepreneurs what their favorite (and not-so-traditional) places to work are, and they didn’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, elegant luxury, or a blood-pumping way to spend your break time, this list has got you covered.
1. The Art Institute of Chicago
Work in the cafe, or in the beautiful South Garden
Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue (closest CTA stop: Adams/Wabash)
Why work there: “Easily one of the most beautiful spaces in the city. You can check emails and work remotely sitting in a garden designed with fountains and artistically maintained trees that filter sunlight through, creating an oasis on a bustling part of Michigan Avenue. Closest thing to a secret garden that I’ve ever experienced in my life,” says Asif Khan, CEO of Caremerge.
2. Brooklyn Boulders
Work at The Beta, a workspace in the midst of a rock climbing facility
Address: 100 South Morgan Street (closest CTA stop: Morgan Lake/UIC-Halsted)
Why work there: “It’s weirdly awesome. The only drawback I can think of is that you might want to climb or do yoga all day, but I’ve been told that the space is mellow, bright, and conducive to work,” says Khan.
3. The Shedd Aquarium
Work at the aquarium’s lakefront terrace, with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan
Address: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive (closest CTA stop: Roosevelt)
Why work there: “Breathtaking,” says Jayna Cooke, CEO of EVENTup.
4. Millennium Park
Work in this nearly 25-acre park, featuring green gardens and lots of public art
Address: 201 East Randolph Street (close to many CTA stops)
Why work there: “Being outside with changing scenery seems to get my creative juices flowing and the free wifi keeps me connected when I want to be. When the weather is nice, I like to find a shady bench and catch up on reading,” says Jason Siffring, owner of Surprise Highway.
5. Soho House
Work by the pool on the roof of this swanky members’ club
Address: 113-125 North Green Street (closest CTA stop: Morgan Lake)
Why work there: “There is a ton of sun, a great breeze, a fun crowd, but plenty of people working on their laptops accomplishing a ton. This space is the perfect blend of hard work and a great experience. Food and drink are amazing perks, too,” says Chris Rentner, founder and CEO of Akouba Credit.
6. JW Marriott
Work in the lobby, even if you don’t spend the night there
Address: 151 West Adams Street (closest CTA stop: Quincy/Wells)
Why work there: “Unlike Starbucks, there are plenty of outlets, perfect wifi, and no loud music overhead. It’s just a quiet, comfortable, and civilized place to get work done (even if the coffee is six bucks with a tip),” says Josh Inglis, owner of Propllr PR.
Is there a unique place in Chicago that you like to cowork from that was left off our list? If so, please share it with us in the comments section below.
Image credits: Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Boulders, Meetup (Shedd Aquarium), Headsillroll / Wikimedia Foundation (Millennium Park), SOHO House, JW Marriott.