The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
Opened in 2010, The Wormhole Coffee Shop in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood was established in 2015. It says so on its front door.
And that’s all because of 1985.
Well, you really shouldn’t be if you grew up during the 1980s, or simply are a fan of “Back to the Future” who’s dreamt of owning a silver DeLorean with flux capacitor. Which, as it turns out, you can actually find inside The Wormhole, a coffee shop that’s for lovers of the ’80s at least as much as it’s for lovers of coffee – and probably much more so.
Located at 1462 N. Milwaukee Avenue along an eclectic stretch of storefronts on the city’s North Side, The Wormhole – as its name suggests – is a trip back in time to the decade when hair was big, the Cold War was hot, and fashion was … well, it was something.
As a proud child of it, I still love the ’80s today. Anytime I stumble across one of the “Back to the Future” and “Indiana Jones” films on TV, I’ll stop and watch. I can still rattle off the starting lineups from the 1984 and ’89 Chicago Cubs as if they’re my Social Security Number. And I get a big retro kick out of seeing the on-point hairstyles, outfits and pop culture references from FX’s hit period drama, “The Americans,” as it chronicles the height of U.S.-USSR political tensions during the early ’80s.
The decade of my childhood brings back great memories for me, and this past weekend, I was hoping to stoke them when I visited The Wormhole on Sunday morning. Upon walking through the front door with “Est. 2015” painted on the glass – a cheeky nod to the once-upon-a-time futuristic year featured in “Back to the Future II” – I wasn’t disappointed as I encountered what could have been a junior high buddy’s basement.
Back when I actually was in junior high.