Coffee Alley new hot spot to cure craving for caffeine

The Coffee Alley, owned by Bill and Sara Roberts, hosts open mic nights for student musicians to showcase their talent and displays student artwork. Photo: Alex Rauch

Looking for a place near campus to get a quick pick-me-up?

The Coffee Alley, at 1152 W. Taylor St., is officially open for business in the heart of Little Italy.

Owners Bill and Sara Roberts kept in mind students when designing the quaint, comfortable coffee shop.

“We’re both teachers, by degree, so we understand student life and wanted to support students and education,” Bill Roberts said.

Each table, for example, has enough room for your meal and drink, along with any homework or laptop you have with you.

As a student, time is always an issue. The free Wi-Fi available with purchase allows customers to work while enjoying a meal.

“When designing the coffee shop, we wanted to fit into the neighborhood, like it’s been here forever,” Bill Roberts said.

And fit in they did; with the cobblestone floor, exposed brick walls and Euro-Italian vibe, the coffee shop feels right at home in the neighborhood.

The Coffee Alley sells a delicious assortment of pastries baked fresh daily and homemade paninis.

A customer favorite on the menu, designed by Sara Roberts, is the “Chicago Fire Panini” made with prosciutto, mozzarella, fresh tomato and pesto.

In addition to the dark roast, smooth La Colombe coffee available, a unique, customer-favorite drink is the coconut cream white chocolate.

On Fridays and Saturdays, the shop hosts open mic nights.  All musicians are welcome to play.

“We want the students to be involved, whether it’s by working, or entertainment with music or art,” Sara Roberts said.

Student artists looking to showcase their art need to look no further.

“We specifically didn’t put any of our artwork on walls so that students have the opportunity to show theirs publicly,” Bill Roberts said.

Any students looking to showcase their art or perform can email Sara Roberts at

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