Best of Chicago 2011: Best New Stores

Top openings of the year—shops for the home, for urban ironists, and for men, women, and kids

Classic Remix
Classic Remix




FOR THE HOME CLASSIC REMIX Classic Remix started as Grand Avenue Living, a pop-up shop in West Town that Mary Garvey James, who needed to sell a container of furniture, intended to be temporary. James, who also co-owns the spectacular 610 Home in Geneva, decided instead to rename it, make it permanent, and relocate it to Lincoln Park. “I wish I could sing or paint, but my talent is that I can walk into a room of junk and find the two good things in less than three minutes,” James says. Her blend of old and new makes vintage pieces feel utterly modern. The effect is inspired, timeless, and relaxed. 1015 W. Webster Ave.; 773-661-6796,


FOR URBAN IRONISTS CARHARTT Known for its classic work apparel, Carhartt only recently decided to cash in on its hipster cred. Its choice of Wicker Park as the location for its new Chicago boutique signals that the Detroit-based line understands the audience. Draws for non-blue-collar fans of the brand are the 1889 Denim Collection pants for men ($60 per pair) and Work in Progress, a line of slim-cut jackets, plaid shirts, cardigans, and V-necks for all. The garment construction is made to withstand heavy-duty work—or, you know, lifting pints at Revolution Brewing. 1518 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-278-5218,

FOR KIDS LEOLENO When the German native Catharina Maerklin moved here two years ago, people frequently stopped her when she was out with her two young sons to ask where she got her baby’s stroller and her toddler’s wooden bike. The answer? Germany. So she opened this airy, friendly children’s shop in Winnetka with imports from her home country and elsewhere in Europe. Wooden toys, such as puzzles, trays of blocks, and a striking collection of hand-painted animals, come from the German lines Steiff, Haba, and Grimm’s. The sleek baby furniture—including a Leander oval crib ($1,689) and a Nartart bamboo crib ($1,289) that converts to a toddler bed—is also built to last. A section of the store is set apart for story time, concerts, and, natürlich, German lessons. 976 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka; 847-446-1100,


FOR MEN SHRINE Men who can pull off a bow tie and pocket square should flock to Shrine, an accessories boutique that carries handmade ties from the London-based brand Drakes (starting at $153), cuff links ($115–$970), heirloom-quality leather briefcases ($700–$1,500), and silk and cashmere scarfs ($520). Shrine also houses a small selection of canes, top hats, and fedoras. Even the umbrellas ($300–$460) have stitched-leather handles and beautiful patterns inside and out. 47 E. Oak St.; 312-675-2105,

FOR WOMEN TRILLIUM Trillium’s owner, Erica Cook, describes her store’s style as “girly prep” and has chosen tops, pants, skirts, and accessories from high-end but casual lines, such as Vince and Cynthia Vincent, to express it. A welcome addition to the Wicker Park retail corridor, Trillium also carries feminine dresses from Twinkle and the French designer Alice Ritter and supple leather bags from J.W. Hulme. 1744 W. Division St.; 773-698-8162,


Photography: (Classic Remix) Eric Hausman; (Carhartt) courtesy of Carhartt; (model) Courtesy of Trillium



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