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Four Experiential Shops in Chicago

Browsing the racks is just the beginning at these retailers, which offer everything from yoga to a coworking room.

Roots   Photo: Courtesy of Roots

1 Roots

605 N. Michigan Ave., Gold Coast

The goods:Rugged but cozy apparel: varsity jackets, soft, slouchy loungewear, and leather products like boots and bags

The extras:At its Customization Workshop, you can personalize apparel and leather accessories with monograms (free) and patches (50 cents to $85). There’s also the Roots Rec Hall on the upper floor, which offers a free coworking space under a hanging canoe — finally, a work environment where sweats are encouraged.

2 Nomad Chicago

820 N. Franklin St., Near North Side

The goods:Vintage Moroccan poufs, essential oil bath balms, leather belt bags, and other products from international makers in a just-opened shop staffed by Englewood youths participating in an I Grow Chicago mentorship program

The extras:The store’s in-house café serves up cold-pressed juices and organic snacks. And if you desire Nomad’s globetrotter aesthetic for your own parties, you’re in luck: There’s also a rentable event space.

3 Lululemon

944 W. North Ave., Lincoln Park

The goods:The yoga gear, from stretchy black pants to colorful sports bras, that costumes every group of brunching besties and pram-pushing mamas from Lincoln Park to Lake View

The extras:This enormous store, which opened in July, has a loungey meditation area and two rooms that host yoga and HIIT classes ($25 each) — during which participants can try out the brand’s clothing. An onsite café serves the exact kind of food you’d expect. (Acai bowls? Check!)

4 Starbucks Reserve Roastery

646 N. Michigan Ave., Near North Side

The goods:The caffeinated drinks you know and get jittery on, plus the brand’s Reserve line, which features small-batch coffees, inventive brewing strategies, and a nearly doubled price point

The extras:Tours acquaint visitors with all 35,000 square feet of Starbucks’s largest-ever location, opening November 15. Watch the bean roasting up close as you grab artisan pizza and cocktails from buzzy Chicago mixologists.


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