Introducing Ampersand, Chicago's hippest new coworking spot
This week, we spoke with Mary Nisi, founder of Ampersand. It's a just-opened coworking space located in trendy Logan Square. With some sweet amenities (like a 2,000 sqft roof deck!!) and comfy colorful decor, it's a solid Chicago spot to focus and work on your next big projects.
Here's what's going on at Ampersand.
Can you tell us the origin story behind Ampersand?
I own Toast & Jam DJs, a mobile DJ company that specializes in weddings and corporate events. We had our office in Wicker Park for 10 years. In April 2017, my husband and I bought this building. It’s located a block from our house and It seemed like a great idea to move T&J there. We planned on renting out the main space to some kind of commercial entity and be their landlord. But then someone floated the idea of putting a coworking space in there. Once I get an idea in my head there is no stopping it…we spent the summer building the space out with the help of an AMAZING designer, Sarah Kuchar, and we opened in October 2017.
What was the inspiration behind the name?
I have always loved the visual of the ampersand. Toast & Jam has one and it was used in our branding. I like the idea of the ampersand as well — it joins 2 things, it implies more, that there is another idea or thing coming together. It was a really quick decision!
What is the vibe, culture, and atmosphere like?
People have said that their productivity goes through the roof here! The furniture is fairly high end and comfortable, and I pride myself on thinking of every detail. It’s well lit but not surgical. There are power outlets everywhere. The coffee is strong and delicious. It’s very calm and clean but not stuffy. I would say we have a very good vibe!
What kind of people or companies are roaming around Ampersand?
We have a lot of software developers and some people who work in marketing and graphic design. We have a salesperson for Tunein, and 2 awesome real estate agents. There is a lawyer and an advertising agency. We have a new member who helps farmers in Ethiopia buy chickens!
What are some of your fave spots in Logan Square?
I live in Logan so I have a lot! We go to Park & Field, Parson’s and Lonesome Rose. We love the Burlington Bar. We order take out from El Habenero way too much. Of course we love Halfwit Coffee - they provide our coffee.
Any upcoming events that we should be excited about?
We have a rotating art installation that we change every 2 months. The next one is going up this week "Tangla: Sara Goodman solo exhibition”. The opening party is on January 19th from 6-10pm.