|Off the Grid|
In October 2016 Lewis Kostiner ’72 and his wife, Annie, opened kibbitznest: books, brews & blarney on Chicago’s N. Clybourn Avenue to encourage “creative, sensitive, and intellectual discourse” in a wifi-free zone. The store, which is full of liberal arts books mainly from academic presses, helps fund the nonprofit coffee house, which the Kostiners refer to as a “third place” (“first” is home, “second” is work). To promote actual face-to-face human interaction, kibbitznest features comfortable chairs and couches; drinks ranging from craft beers and specialty cocktails to herbal teas; an assortment of games; “a little nosh” like imported cheese plates and Chicago-style hotdogs; and events like discussions, book signings, live music, and storytelling. Kostiner isn’t new to the business: while a student at Brown, he cofounded Mother Records, a coffee shop in the basement of Faunce House.