New café on the block


Students and professors whose work keeps them on the quads often ignore campus south of the Midway. Yet the University of Chicago Press building’s new Midway Gardens Café at 60th and Dorchester offers an enticing breakfast, lunch, and coffee option that might make them change their routine. Customers can lounge in couches and modern, padded-metal chairs in a spacious main area lit by four arched windows. Taking a page from the building it serves, the café’s shelves are stocked with Press books such as A Poet’s Guide to Poetry and Truth and Reality.

Operated by Plum Café, a catering service founded by Richard Mott, MBA’81, the coffee shop features drinks, baked goods, and made-to-order sandwiches. Midway Gardens Café is the tenth campus shop run by Mott’s company, joining the Classics, Biological Sciences Learning Center, and Law School shops.

Though the shop is already open, decorations are a work in progress. Once done, patrons will enjoy a taste of the Midway’s history along with their food and drinks. The café, named after Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1914–24 concert gardens at 60th and Cottage Grove, plans to add a 73” x 60” recreation of a John Warner Norton cubist and futurist mural that adorned the old gardens.

Sean I. Ahmed, ’06

July 21, 2004