The best shops in Irving Park
Bob Koester didn’t stay retired long after closing River North fixture Jazz Record Mart. Koester, who also owns local label Delmark Records, opened a new storefront in Irving Park in October 2016; it may have a somewhat smaller stock than his old place, but Koester is there six days a week ready to talk shop with other music lovers.
Part of a small chain of stores in Illinois and Wisconsin, this shop sells everything you need for home brewing and winemaking. Brew & Grow also offers classes for beginning and advanced homebrewers as well as private events.
This nearly 100-year-old urban garden center is a destination for green thumbs and professional landscapers alike. It also offers services for weddings, commercial clients and events.
Operating since 1995, this antique megamall hosts 30 dealers in a 7,000-square-foot space, with everything from jewelry to furniture from a variety of eras offering some of the best browsing in the city.
No bootleg rotgut here: This well-stocked store named for the Prohibition-era gangster and rumrunner promises a selection of more than 600 microbrews plus wine and liquor.
Veteran jewelry makers Ana Pizarro and Diana Ortega opened this bead store in 2014 (there’s now a second location in Edgewater as well). They offer everything you could need to make your own necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings or whatever strikes your fancy; there’s also an array of classes from basic skills to special projects, and you can book parties for kids or adults.
Family-owned for more than six decades, this beloved florist offers full service for occasions from weddings to funerals, and delivers all over the city and to a reported 150 suburbs.
For years, Bill Dugan has run an "occasional" restaurant out of his seafood shop, the Fish Guy. Now he's given the antiseptically clean and bright space a renovation, converting one fish case into a dining bar and adding a few permanent tables in front. Recently, the food has taken a step up, with a lobster roll that does the quality of the product justice and a clam sandwich that has big, meaty fried clams and ramp pesto.
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.
Get outfitted head to toe at this small but well-stocked shop specializing in men's athletic wear, high-end sneakers and accessories.