Southport is a great street to visit if you are in Chicago. It has lots to do and see for the local as well as the visitor. Sushi bars, a couple of pub/bistro fusions and ....Great shopping!!! under the radar foot traffic, yet you get an Anthropologie thrown in (a really good one too!). The 4 or 5 blocks that I'm going to talk about are from 3700-3300, from the Southport Brown Line stop at Roscoe heading North. There is more to do South of the train station as well... but that's another day.
The first place I came to was called Que Syrah Fine Wines (3726 N. Southport)... decent selection of boutique wines at reasonable prices. A local wine store. ...Galleria Liquers Fine Wines & Spirits (3409 N. Southport) has less of the independent feel, but truly a better selection plus beer and liquor. There were plenty of high-end wines and then some of my favorite "value" wines that are not so easy to find... Naia being among the most difficult to find/best value, you'll want a bottle of this for every hour that you are awake... don't say I didn't warn you. (Still looking for my OskarBlues brewery supply)
Get to know Southport Grocery and Cafe (3552 N. Southport). This place rocks!!! There are lots of cute eateries on the street, but yer going to pay for the ambiance, whereas at Southport Grocery and Cafe yer guaranteed quality ingredients. The grocery part seems small but when you see the selection of jellies and preserves and tapanades and other artisan stuffs in jars, your jaw will drop at the creativity of what yer next meal may be like!!! plus they have a bakery (CUPCAKES ya'll!!!) and a pleasant staff and they blog. Check yer pretense at the sidewalk and make this place yer stop for whatever snack or meal you need for yer visit to Southport Ave. ...P.S. it's child-friendly and I hear they carry Zingerman's candies.
Speaking of candy, let yerself loose in Candyality (3425 N. Southport). Mostly bulk selection of classic candy. The website starts off with an intro page that plays "The Candy Man Can..." from Willy Wonka. I first noticed the wax juicy bottles that I used to love chewing on (and trying so hard not to swallow). There is plenty of room to roam around and browse the selection of all yer favorites. Don't pass up the chance to smile and reminisce.
There were several shops and boutiques for the sartorial enthusiast... a super-great Anthropologie that was getting ready for Fall when I stopped by and then 3 other exceptional boutiques that are well worth making a part of yer visit to Southport Ave.
First, I visited Perchance a boutique (3512 N. Southport Ave.) NOTE: they're only open by appointment on Sunday. The interior is great! Very refreshing look. I love the wallpaper around the top of the walls. The racks are arranged for very easy viewing of the clothes and the selection for Fall was nice. They carry lots of safe, solid designs that are very creative in structure of the garment without being too edgy. Smart feminine clothing for all ages. Very contemporary and in-step with a solid understanding of traditional taste. I liked their sweaters and jeans. The staff seemed up-beat and chatty and didn't give this guy by himself any wierd looks. Check out their website, it's well-designed and easy to use with tons of info. Way to go Perchance Boutique!!!
Second, I visited Kista K Boutique (3458 N. Southport Ave.). Krista K is a 2-story boutique that has a huge selection for the urban woman. Top-notch designers, lots of leather, eclectic looks that are perfect for the L.A. and NYC style. I went downstairs first, because I was a bit intimidated by the shopping commotion upstairs. (It is what it is!) I found some great boots and was told that the downstairs are more casual pieces. Upstairs, I spied some awesome jackets and coats. There was also a great look-book. Definitely THE place for Urban Chic and something with a little attitude. I'm not sassy enough, but I know quality shit when I see it and the women there seemed to love it too! (It reminded me of Barney's.) They also have a maternity selection and stuff for babies. Not my bag, but no question... it's good shopping ya'll!!! Check out the website for a list of the designers they carry and a great blog.
Lastly, I went to Cerato Boutique (3451 N. Southport Ave.). What a great way to finish out my stroll. Cerato Boutique is new and just a great, humble place. It was like visiting a friend's place. The young women were so personable (even to the guy by himself). I love the hand-blocked wallpaper! The selection was a little more trim than the other two stores, but every piece was something exciting and tasteful to look at. Cerato also carries mostly Chicago designers, and that doesn't mean funky immature and unwearable designs, but that creative piece that you need to really get at expressing yerself. It's not just a boutique in Chicago, but a Chicago Boutique. If I were a woman, I would make every shopping trip include a visit to Cerato! There's plenty of room for improvement in the website, but I have full confidence that this place is THE place to keep yer eye on over the next year! Full of charm and unexpected surprises!
So, THANKS Southport Ave.! I enjoyed my afternoon passing through, I enjoyed all yer trendy brunette girls in their stunner shades and shoebox boutiques... get some home furnishing stores or an art gallery or two and you'll be off the charts! ...and you, Dear Reader, thanks for yer time and interest in what I have to say. Leave a comment, I'm also interested in what you have to say.