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Vintage Shopping Guide To Chicago – Restaurants Hotels And Boutiques
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Chicago was first put on the map when it hosted the World's Fair, in 1893. From then on, architecture, music, visual artists, crime, scandal, fashion, film and food have all gracefully collided to create the rich history people around the world are familiar with today.
Even though the next decade that made Chicago famous included the likes of John Dillinger and Al Capone and was stage to the Valentine's Day Massacre, it is rarely the bullets fired and the blood shed during this time that people refer to when remembering, as this was such a revolutionary time in America, with regards to architecture, music and fashion and Chicago ranked not too far behind New York when it came to art and nightlife. Prohibition certainly kicked off a series of some of the wildest parties and shows the city had ever seen or would see again.
Chess Records made Chicago's rhythm and blues and rock n roll famous, attracting artists such as Howlin' Wolf from Memphis and other parts of America. A lot of today's rock n roll is based on riffs that were created by artists jamming and recording at Chess.
A multitude of beautiful art deco structures still stand and the essence of eras passed is still hugely present today, especially in the numerous establishments that perpetuate vintage life. While information on all of the city’s vintage stores and venues could easily fill the pages of a large book, here is a short list of some absolute must-sees.
For clothing and accessories:
1721 West North Avenue.
Categorized by decade, Silver Moon’s wares also include bridal wear, which some people specifically seek the shop out for.
Knee Deep Vintage
1425 West 18th Street
This shop boasts a great selection of vintage clothing and accessories at rather competitive prices but is most known for its really friendly staff and excellent customer service.
Store B Vintage
1472 Milwaukee Avenue
This store has garnered a multitude of rave reviews from local and visiting shoppers alike. Their stock is gasp-inducing and well-priced for its fantastic quality.
Luxury Garage Sale
1658 N Wells Street
As the name more than suggests, this place carries luxury vintage items so do not expect to pay what you do in the aforementioned shops. Do, however, prepare to be wowed by all of the beautiful, vintage designers’, labels.
For furniture and home accents:
63 N State Street
This place tops a lot of people’s list when it comes to fun and unique vintage wares. This place is perfect for gift-buying and, while you’re at it, you’re bound to fall in love with something for yourself.
1513 W Foster Avenue
While this shop may not be for everyone, the people that love it are head over heels for it. Woolly Mammoth is known for its odd merchandise, most of which is taxidermy. From human teeth to animal skulls to the stuffed giraffe that occupies a tall space in the shop, even if you don’t leave with anything, you will spend your time there fascinated.
1215 W 18th Street
Countless shoppers continue to praise Mike and Tiffany, the owners of Modern Cooperative, for their exceptional customer service. That, however, is the icing on the cake because this shop is known for its beautiful vintage treasures which are, more often than not, Mid-Century Modern.
A little bit of everything:
Edgewater Antique Mall
6314 N Broadway Street
You could and probably will spend hours perusing the variety of vintage and antique items found here. With friendly staff that are happy to assist you, the overall shopping experience at the Edgewater Antique Mall tends to be a great one!
Randolph Street Market
1350 W Randolph Street
In order to get a good look at everything offered here, you need to set aside a good block of time but it will be worth it. The just shabby to shabby chic ratio is a promising one and shoppers as well as vendors usually have positive things to say about their time spent here. Many a gem has been found and most people who shop here are repeat customers.
Restaurant and Hotels:
The Walnut Room
111 N State Street
The Walnut Room is, by now, an institution in Chicago. It is beautiful year round but absolutely magical at Christmastime. Scores of people take and collect souvenir photos of the enormous Christmas tree the restaurant sets out every year and eating there, especially in December, has been a long-standing tradition for many locals.
1 W Washington Street
The Atwood somehow manages to be urban, elegant and cozy. Their menu has gone from traditional mid-West food to beautifully plated, sophisticated cuisine but the ambiance has remained locked in the time of days gone by.
The Burnham Hotel
1 W Washington Street
Completed in 1895 and part of the architectural style known as "The Chicago School," the Reliance Building was deemed a National Historic Site in 1975. It was i the early 1990's that restoration of the building began, after years of neglect and the result of the renovations is what is now the Burnham Hotel. If you can't stay in one of its lavishly decorated rooms, you can always have dinner in its restaurant, The Atwood, mentioned above.
The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel
636 S Michigan Avenue
Located in the Michigan Boulevard Historic District, the Renaissance Blackstone is famous for housing celebrities, including many US presidents. It unfortunately closed in 2000, due to disrepair, but was renovated and restored to its former glory in 2008 and has been thriving since.
Chicago Art Deco Society
For local events that usually sport an intra-war theme, the Chicago Art Deco Society keeps a full calendar with fun and entertaining events that allow you to dress up and travel through time year round with live music, design workshops, talks, expositions, movie screenings and picnics. Prices are usually just a tad more expensive for non-members but they are never exorbitant and are always worth it.
Whether you live in Chicago or are just passing through, there is definitely no lack things to see, do and buy in this vintage lover’s haven.
The author has an immense knowledge on vintage shops. Know more about Vintage Fashion related info in his websitevintagemaya.com/stories/vintage-guide-chicago
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