Riding the Red Line: Jarvis jammed pack with fun

CHICAGO -- It is possibly the least traveled stop along the Red Line. The Jarvis Station sits between Ashland and Greenview in Rogers Park  in an incredibly diverse community just blocks from the lake.    It is largely residential except for a quaint area just steps from the train known as Jarvis Square.

Dan Sullivan’s great grandfather built one of the main buildings, knowing the train was his ticket to success.

“He knew it was coming up and said, ‘Okay people are going to come up here,’” Sullivan said. “People told him he was wrong.  People told him nobody is going to go this far North. He said, ‘With the train they’ll come.’”

Sullivan’s parents actually met in the space that is now his Charmer’s Café, an independent shop serving Metropolis Coffee, fresh juices and homemade baked goods.

And like his great grandfather before, ice cream is a big part of the menu.

But the food is only part of Charmer’s. A separate room features local artists and on Tuesdays, it’s used for story time.

“We’ve got a really, really welcoming community here for people who live here and for people who come in and visit,” Sullivan said.

Taste Food and Wine is the neighborhood artisan wine shop.  It hosts tastings twice a week.

Phoebe Snow is the co-owner and a wine educator with 40 years in the industry.

“We’ve developed a reputation for finding great wines at great prices from all over the world,” Snow said.

Beer tastings are on Saturdays, but you can taste cheeses and other snacks and sweets from all over any time you like.

If you’re looking for a place to hang out at night, Public House keeps the night life hopping in Jarvis Square. There is a local pottery shop and even a place to pamper your pooch.

Jarvis is a hidden gem of a community worth wandering through before heading out to the beach.