Skip to contents
Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Damn Fine Coffee Crew Bringing Cafe, Afterglow, To Former Atomix Space In West Town This Winter

Atomix, 1957 W. Chicago Ave., closed last year after 19 years in business. Soon, one of its former baristas will open a new spot in its place.

Atomix Coffee Shop, 1957 W. Chicago Ave., will close after 19 years.
Hannah Alani/ Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

WEST TOWN —Missing Atomix Coffee Shop? Help is on the way.

Afterglow, a cafe from the owners of Logan Square’s Damn Fine Coffee, will open this winter at 1957 W. Chicago Ave., according to an Instagram post.

Damn Fine co-owner Josh Miller initially announced the idea to replace Atomix last year.

Miller worked at Atomix more than a decade ago and eventually opened his own spot, Damn Fine at 3317 W. Armitage Ave., with three others in 2016.

“I thought it was a great spot,” Miller said last year of Atomix. “I still think it’s a great spot, [one] that’s ready for an update.” 

Miller could not immediately be reached for comment about the opening date Monday.

RELATED: Damn Fine Coffee, Owned By Former Atomix Barista, Will Expand To Replace The West Town Cafe Next Year

Atomix closed last year after 19 years in business. The shop opened in 2001 under Adam Paul, the owner of Moonlight Vulture in Avondale. Paul sold Atomix to Dan Murphy in 2011. 

When Murphy bought the coffee shop, he didn’t change Paul’s original space theme, which included an iconic blue-and-white mural of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

Credit: Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago
Atomix Coffee Shop will close later this month.

Other trendy coffee shops came to the neighborhood, and Murphy struggled to keep the business afloat, he said. Especially since many of the writers, artists and students who once comprised the bulk of his customer base could no longer afford to live in neighborhood.

RELATED: Atomix Coffee Shop Closing After 19 Years On Chicago Avenue In West Town

“I’m not sour about this. … It’s a matter-of-fact thing,” Murphy said last year. “Businesses that are thriving [in West Town] would not have been able to exist years ago. And businesses that existed years ago, would not be able to thrive today.”

Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago.  Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.