Aosta Co-owner Logan Koons opened vintage furniture and homewares shop Aosta (Gaelic for vintage) in late 2011 but has a deeper history with vintage furnishings. He credits an inheritance of Danish modern furniture from his grandmother as the beginning of his obsession with collecting. After running a side business selling out of a loft in Logan Square, Koons took the venture full time with his girlfriend, Megan Louis, specializing in midcentury modern. He tells us he has eyes on expanding next door, too. 509 W Diversey Pkwy (773-661-2038).
Apple Store The Lincoln Park Apple Store boasts a few firsts for the company. It’s the first Apple Store to feature three entrances (one off North Avenue, one off Clybourn Avenue and one from the remodeled—thanks to Apple—North/Clybourn Red Line stop). The 90-foot skylight is the largest to be built in an Apple Store. And the outpost was the first to offer a new service, where customers can get personal setup on the new products the moment they make their purchase—meaning, when you leave the store, your new Mac will already be equipped and configured with your e-mail, iTunes and other apps. Other than that, the new space has everything we’ve come to expect from Apple: sleek displays featuring every available Mac product, on-site workshops and a huge staff. 801 W North Ave (312-777-4200).
Comfort Me Make yourself comfortable. It’s a phrase the mother-daughters trio behind this Lincoln Park shop takes very seriously. The store is all about comforting the mind and body with women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories. We’re drawn to the gifty items, such as the messages in vintage bottles to be used instead of greeting cards ($5 and up) and a colorful hammock made from recycled ropes ($248). 651 W Armitage Ave (312-255-1412).
eDrop-Off If you don’t have time to deal with the inner workings of eBay, let the fashionistas behind this storefront do it for you. eDrop-Off specializes only in designer duds, so plunk down your big-name labels and owner Corri McFadden will post the pictures and make sure you get a good profit. (The shop takes a cut and often sells items for 20–30 percent more than the average eBay seller.) And if you want to add to your wardrobe, check out the store’s website. Recent online auctions include items by Chanel, Hermès, Victoria Beckham and more. Don’t be surprised if you see TV cameras in the shop: McFadden and her staff are also the stars of VH1’s House of Consignment. 2117 N Halsted St (773-525-7467).
Green Goddess Walk into this Armitage storefront and you’ll immediately pick up on an Anthropologie-esque vibe. Just like the original location in Hinsdale, the focus here is on sustainable products—but with a chic slant. Look for ecofriendly bags, jewelry, apparel, soy candles and more. Plus many items are all about giving back. For example, purchase an item from the Love Heals jewelry line and the company will plant a tree. 1009 W Armitage Ave (773-281-5600).
Killion Three years after launching her namesake clothing line, local designer Dana Killion took things to the next level by opening this spot in the fall of 2011. You’ll find simple, contemporary women’s clothing with a focus on slightly dressy casual tops ($120–$195). In addition to her own clothes, Killion offers a selection of small-label and artisan jewelry, belts and handbags. 1006 W Armitage Ave (773-348-2790).
Nest Furniture In September 2011, local import company Nest set up shop with a mix of antiques and newly made pieces. The store features a variety of styles—all with a worldly influence. “We’re all about blending modern furniture with older accent pieces,” owner Michael Guarino tells us. Look for items for just about every room in the house with a nice range of price points. For example, dining tables range from $300 to $1,500. 2707 N Clark St (773-525-0530).
Sebastien Grey When it comes to finding well-fitting clothes, Chicago guys have plenty of options, including Sebastien Grey Clothiers. The shop is located within three Halo [For Men] salon locations—including this one in Lincoln Park. The company relies on the talents of three tailors to create custom shirts, pants, vests, suits, overcoats and more. In addition to the clothes, the expert staff can offer tips on dry cleaning, suit storage, spot cleaning and the proper way to tie a tie. The shop takes walk-ins, or you can make an appointment. 645 W Diversey Pkwy (773-486-4646).
Shop 857 On a street packed with makeup and beauty shops, it’s nice to find a boutique option. Owner Kelli Jones came to Chicago from New York and wanted her store to have an NYC vibe. Translation: The sleek, minimalist shop features trendy womenswear lines such as Milly, Grayline, House of Harlow and more. Prices start around $50, so it’s easy to find something here for most budgets. 857 W Armitage Ave (773-525-1180).