Pick Me Up Cafe

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This perky cafe/coffee house in Wrigleyville is just hitting its stride when the rest of Chicago is settling down for the night. Seven nights a week, bleary-eyed patrons sip coffee drinks while the kitchen churns out an eclectic array of appetizers, salads, entrees, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts as well as a full breakfast menu into the wee hours of the morning. "We don't want to be pigeonholed as a coffee house," notes owner Jim Butigan. "We're almost like a diner with our variety of foods, but better quality." Since opening in April of 1997, a mix of after-hours restaurant staff, students and locals have taken to staking out Pick Me Up's tables and couches. The oddly shaped interior is meant to represent the porch of a house. One of several small, distinct seating areas serves as a stage for occasional live music performances. The walls are peppered with vintage signs and odd bits of decor, including a pair of old strap-on roller skates hanging from a pegboard and a wash line. Other humorous touches include the tree branches that have broken through the corrugated metal roof and a ladle of alphabet "Scrabble" soup that serves as a centerpiece for one of the tables.