Overflow Coffee Bar hits the big three

Overflow Coffee Bar hits the big three
The Neelys serving an anniversary coffee to Alderman Bob Fioretti on Saturday photo/Bonnie McGrath

Overflow Coffee Bar co-proprietor Brandon Neely said Saturday he couldn't believe his sprawling coffee bar at 16th and State has made its three year anniversary.  But it has.  Three big ones.  "We have a good deal on rent," he said.

Neely and his wife and business partner, Amanda opened Overflow three years ago this past weekend.  Their plan from the beginning was to give of themselves and give of their business only good things for the neighborhood they reside in.  Each anniversary, they get stronger, more dedicated and more industrious.

They were afraid when Mariano's opened down the street several months ago.  Because it has a coffee bar, too.  But all seems to be going swimmingly, Mariano's notwithstanding.

There's Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts in the area, also.  But those haven't seemed to affect business either.

Overflow, just a short block from the 1st District police station, not to mention across the street from Columbia College's media production center, is in the same building with a religious school and religion-oriented business offices of various kinds in the Daystar Center, a building that is getting to be a true-blue South Loop community center.

Overflow is big and bright.  It has tables for reading, smart-phoning, card playing, working on a laptop--and just talking; and it serves delicious, fair traded, organic coffee.  And sweets and savories.

On Saturday, Overflow served birthday cake, too--made by Delightful Pastries, one of their suppliers.  Balloons decorated the sidewalk outside, held down by big coffee makers.  There were many guests--including Brandon's dad--and raffle tickets and freebies.  And wouldn't you know it?  Just before the all-day celebration, the fridge broke and a light went out in the coffee house.

"Yeah, but we fixed it," said Brandon.

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