Dose Market

A new food and shopping market in Chicago turns the River East Arts Center into a shopping mecca once a month.
 (Photograph: Allison Williams)
Photograph: Allison WilliamsGreen Envee returns to Dose in July with a new scent inspired by the market.
 (Photograph: Allison Williams)
Photograph: Allison WilliamsChicago 6/5/11Clothing hangs on display at the Elegantly Wasted Vintage booth at the Dose Market at the River East Art Center at 435 E. Illinois Street.
 (Photograph: Allison Williams)
Photograph: Allison WilliamsLocal designer Elise Bergman and her husband, Collin Moore, provided live music during Dose�s first afternoon.
 (Photograph: Allison Williams)
Photograph: Allison WilliamsChicago 6/5/11Guests shop for items at the Dose Market at the River East Art Center at 435 E. Illinois Street.
 (Photograph: Allison Williams)
Photograph: Allison WilliamsThe first installment of Dose featured many vendors foodies love, including Old Town Social, Salted Caramel and Rare Bird Preserves. This month�s market will feature more prepared foods that you can enjoy onsite.
 (Photograph: Nathan Michael)
Photograph: Nathan MichaelAdvice to furniture shoppers: Arrive on the early side. Much of the midcentury furniture and accessories in STUDY�s booth sported sold stickers by early afternoon.
By Kevin Aeh |

There are plenty of ways to spend a carefree Sunday: brunch, drinking, soaking up the sun at North Avenue Beach. And last month, four Chicago tastemakers (including TOC associate Shopping & Style editor Jessica Herman) introduced a new monthly Sunday tradition. More than 800 shoppers visited the River East Art Center for the first Dose Market, a European-style food and fashion bazaar, and it’s back on Sunday 10.

The idea for Dose came to stylist April Francis last fall. “I’d been toying around with the Dose name,” she says, “and realized that the River East Art Center would be a perfect venue.” Francis joined forces with cofounders Heather Sperling, Emily Fiffer and Herman, and Dose was born. Francis says she was drawn to the venue because it also offers inviting surrounding areas. “You can hang out by the river or enjoy the park across the street.”

Yes, it’s a great idea to pick up panini from Old Town Social’s table and head to the park, but only after you spend at least an hour or two shopping. The well-edited selection is not to be missed, and includes many vendors and products not always available to Chicago shoppers. Last month, handbag designer Lisa Spagnolo debuted a new tote specifically for Dose shoppers, and this month she’s back with the bag in a new color. Francis says she’s excited that Ann Arbor, Michigan–based store Red Belly board shop is bringing skateboards for its Chicago debut. “That store is like a little mecca of awesome,” she says.

Among the returning vendors, you’ll find online shop STUDY, which offers great vintage furniture at even better prices. Jewelry lines Mineralogy and Shades of Grey are also set to return, and Bucktown men’s shop Apartment Number 9 will be back, this time bringing NSF Denim. “I think each time they’ll do a different category or designer,” Francis says of the store.

Even though regular Dose shoppers eventually might see a few familiar faces each month, Francis says that no two markets will be alike. “We’re all about keeping it fresh and encouraging vendors to change up their offerings.”

The next Dose Market is Sunday 10, 10am–4pm at River East Art Center (435 E Illinois St, 312-321-1001, $10, $8 advance.