The four corners at California and Augusta in Humboldt Park are where it's at these days. Seemingly out of nowhere the area turned into a hip and happening corner of the city. My favorite place of those that popped up is a place called Spinning J. It can best be described as a new age soda fountain.
Newly Opened in Humboldt Park
I drive down California pretty regularly and Spinning J always intrigued me. When I finally decided to stop in and try the place the only thing that annoyed me about it was the fact I hadn't stopped in earlier. The folks behind the place purchased an old school soda fountain in Wisconsin (not just the machine, the entire setup, bar, chairs and all) and restored it here in Chicago. They knocked it out of the park. If not for the fact I knew Spinning J was semi-new there would be no way of telling whether it just opened or had been on this corner forever. Take a seat at the bar for a trip back into time.
Soda of the Day Rhubarb-Ginger Shrub
Old School Soda Fountains are actually something that pretty much went extinct in Chicago. Maybe there's one or two out in some suburb but to the best of my recollection you wont find any old school counters serving egg creme soda etc. Enter spinning J and their hipsteriffic takes on the classics. My favorite being a Thai Tea Egg Creme that's the perfect treat on a hot summer day. No booze (byob) but there's fantastic food. We recently enjoyed a lox platter on special that really hit the spot.
Lox and Bagel Platter for Brunch
But the star of the food menu is without a doubt the chicken pot pie. I feel like every year (usually in Winter) I find myself craving a real deal chicken pot pie and every year I'm disappointed. Not anymore. Spinning J makes a near flawless example that's done the proper way. This means crust on both bottom and top. It's flaky and it's buttery while the inside is filled with creamy chicken and veggies just like the original recipe calls for. You don't want to forget about this come winter.
Chicken Pot Pie
Last but not least is the bakery section of the business. They have cookies and pie amongst other things. On a recent visit the days pie choice included a wonderful key Lime Hibiscus. It's still the only piece of pie I've tried but I see myself at Spinning J a few times a month as there's lots of goodness going on. It's the perfect place for a family looking to enjoy a meal out or a solo diner looking to snack on something and catch up on emails. There's something for everyone.
Pie Case at Spinning J
1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622