Whether you’re searching for a Victorian chest or a Beatles lunchbox, you have to know where the artifacts are hiding or count on another fruitless foray in antiquing. Chicago used to have a plethora of antique shops, but rents, property taxes, parking fees and other urban woes have reduced that number considerably in the last few decades. However, a few still remain. Chances are that you’ll emerge from one of these antique hubs with a coveted treasure or two.
Good Old Days Inc.
2138 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
A family owned and operated business that has been buying and selling antiques for 40 years, Good Old Days Inc. is one of a handful of shops left on what was an antique shopper’s dream street. Owner Bruce Bailey says, “We specialize in fine furnishings, stained glass windows, phonographs, tube radios, advertising items, neon signs, bar ware, lighting and historic black & white pictures.” The business boasts a huge inventory with thousands of items on display and carries furniture for every budget. It’s open every day of the week so you can rummage for relics with abandon.
Coyle & Herr
Bridgeport Art Center
1200 W. 35th St., Suite 1D
Chicago, IL 60609
A 12,000-square-foot emporium of well-curated home furnishings, Coyle & Herr offers upholstered pieces, art, dining tables and lighting that attract professional and DIY designers. You might find a Fontana Arte Uovo egg-shaped table lamp made from satin white blown glass or a gorgeous Roche Bobois writing desk. Mary Beth Herr, co-owner of Coyle & Herr, says, “What makes us special is the integrity of our pieces, mixed with incredible variety. In each category, we offer a great breadth and depth of selection. We can offer value-based pricing as our consignors are motivated to sell – and, of course, the really fun part is that they have great taste and have collected phenomenal pieces.”
Kouks Vintage Cafe
5653 N. Northwest Highway
Chicago, IL 60646
Is it the Norwood Park or the Gladstone Park neighborhood? Is it an antique shop or a cafe? Check all of the above and welcome to what might be the comfiest antique and vintage shopping experience in the city. The space used to be a bar and since the layout is essentially original, you’ll feel so at home, having a cup of coffee, tea or an Italian soda and browsing antique postcards, books, radios, instruments, toys, furniture and jewelry. Chances are one of the friendly owners will be milling about ready to tell you about that wonderful piece you’re looking at or the meaning of life.
Related: Best Places For Antiquing In Chicago
Zurkos Grayslake Antique Market
Lake County Fairgrounds
1060 E. Peterson Road
Grayslake, IL 60030
Held year round on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month, this is the largest venue that promoter Bob Zurko lines with hundreds of antique dealers who travel from all over the Midwest and beyond. Held within a 100,000-square-foot building, the market features pottery, furniture, jewelry, art glass, primitives, toys, linens, advertising, post cards and many other antiques and collectibles. Check the Web site for cool special events like antique phonograph shows, garden spectaculars, vintage guitar shows and vinyl record extravaganzas.
Randolph Street Market
1340 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Randolph Street Market is a showcase in the West Loop for nearly 100 quality pickers during the indoor season (October-April) and 250-plus during the indoor/outdoor season (May-September). Encompassing eight acres of finds from the sublime to the funky, Randolph Street Market put the city on the map for well-curated antiques and vintage offerings including art, furniture, signs, decor, rare books, ceramics and glass, bar sets, vintage furs and jewelry and more. It features fully integrated mini markets under one roof and is home to the well-regarded Chicago Antique Market and Indie Designer Market. Expect to rub elbows with fashionistas, designers, Hollywood set decorators and others who never buy retail. From May to September, hop a free round-trip trolley at the Water Tower Pumping Station. Check the Web site for dates.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.