We're about great coffee, fostering creativity, and building community.
There are great non-coffee drinks and food too — with a pinch of Puerto Rican and a dash of Taiwanese flair, but that messes with the alliteration. Therefore, assume that all future mentions of "coffee" on this website implies "coffee, non-coffee drinks, and food."
We want to promote your passions. Got awesome art you want displayed or music that you want played? Let's talk
Currently, we've got some sick art hanging along our brick wall from local artist, Kelly Courtney
We want to open up our space to the community. Whether it's storytelling, board games, knitting, etc. and whether you have an existing meetup or would like to start one, let's chat
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The Origin Story
Why the name "El Meson"?
- 2005: She has this coffee shop idea (tcsi) where, as the Cheers slogan went, "everybody knows your name."
- 2005 - 2014: tcsi is sitting on her shelf (sohs) of "amazing things that she will never do."
- 2014: She reads "God Cries and An Angel Loses its Wings" about a cantor turned coffee roaster. She emails him and he actually messages her back! She roadtrips to Detroit to see his coffee shop and pick his brain on how to operationalize "relationship-first."
- 2015: tcsi is still sohs. She comes up with her life mission statement: to create spaces for people to discover and live out their greatness.
- 2016: tcsi is still sohs. She meets the owner of Cafe El Meson* who encourages her to take tcsi off the shelf.
- 2017: She finally takes tcsi off the shelf with the support of the owner of Cafe El Meson and her parents (The shelf is too high and tcsi is too heavy for her to carry alone, she realized).
El Meson means The Inn in Spanish and is inspired by the story of the Good Samaritan
: Man was beaten, robbed, and left for dead. Civil Servant sees Man and ignores him. Neighbor sees Man and ignores him. Samaritan (aka Outcast fka Enemy) sees Man and brings him to The Inn where Man becomes fully restored.
What's with the "2"?
: that's what the lawyer put down on the articles of incorporation as a placeholder and she was too lazy to ask him to change it.
Sentimental answer (which also answers the first question): to honor the owner of the original Cafe El Meson and his vision of creating "un lugar para ti," a place for you - to exchange the best humanity has to offer.
*His original location at 4631 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60632
is still open. You have to try his Don Diego Chicken Sandwich for which inspired the ¡Chacho! Pollo. Guess where the Puerto Rican influence comes from.