Avondale may not be overflowing with high-end boutiques (yet). But the neighborhood to the north of Logan Square does offer furniture stores both antique and modern consignment, one of the city’s best record shops to fuel your ’80s nostalgia and a mega outpost of one of Chicago’s best bike shops. Don’t miss browsing these destination stores next time you’re in the ’hood.
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Avondale’s best shops
Stepping into Bric-A-Brac's brightly colored storefront is like entering the bedroom of every ‘80s kid’s dreams. The yellow walls are covered with shelves of toys, ranging from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures to vintage Transformers. It’s one of the only stores in town where you can pick up a Combat Rock cassette, a VHS copy of Blade Runner and some E.T. earrings in one fell swoop. All of this supplements a highly-curated selection of punk and garage rock records, including a healthy number of releases from local bands. Stop in to bask in the overwhelming sense of nostalgia and don’t forget to say hi to Dandelo, the store’s resident corgi.
If you never thought it was possible to "run out and pick up a Tibetan singing bowl," you thought wrong. Sure, Andy's stocks a lot of what you might need for your everyday music needs, but its specialty really lies in world instruments–we're talking sitars, giant gongs, and things you've never even heard of, along with a knowledgeable staff who is happy to educate you on any mysterious objects you may find. Go ahead, knock yourself out.
From an incredible variety of fresh noodles to a produce section stocked with items like gobo root and sesame leaves to shelves crowded with savory sauces and fermented bean pastes, this Avondale grocer is a curious cook’s delight. Hit up the meat department for thin slices of marbled shabu shabu beef, ribeye and pork belly at supremely reasonable prices; for a DIY Korean feast, stop by the self-serve banchan bar for side dishes like kimchi and spicy garlic stems. On your way out, pay a visit to the mandu stand, which has lately earned a cult following for its colossal and tasty steamed dumplings (packed with kimchi, pork or sweet red bean paste); at $2 a pop, they’re one of the city’s best bargains.
Previously housed in the Bridgeport Art Center, Coyle & Herr, a consignment furniture warehouse, now boasts an 8,200-square-foot space in Avondale. With stock changing almost every day, Coyle & Herr has a dynamic range of styles from traditional to mid-century modern to contemporary, with an extensive range of prices to match.
True to its name, The Beer Temple is a sanctuary for craft-brew lovers. Chris Quinn and his wife, Margarey, have opened a completely unpretentious establishment that enables patrons to bow down to the power of good beer. A certified cicerone, Chris is quick with a quality recommendation, interesting tidbits on particular brewing processes, encyclopedic knowledge of the history of various brews and samples of new beers on his doorstep—all without a speck of salesmanship.
This third-generation, family-owned business opened its first shop on the South Side in 1944. Since then, it's expanded to four locations, offering a wide variety of bikes for casual to serious cyclists: road, hybrid, comfort, mountain, triathlon, electric, folding, commuter, cyclocross, cruisers, womens, bmx and kids. Brands include Cannondale, Colnago, Dahon, DK, Electra-Townie, Giant, GT, Schwinn and more. Kozy also sells helmets, accessories, shoes, parts, tires, wheels and car racks.
This family-owned candy maker churns out tons of tasty chocolates, nutty confections and more, but what you really can't miss are the "Doodles." Grab a box of the shop's unique recipe of kettle-cooked, puffed caramel corn mixed with crunchy nuts, and you'll be seriously addicted.