Let’s Wine Shall We?

I had the great opportunity to photograph part of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce bi-annual wine stroll through our neighborhood. I was super excited to do this because I knew I was going to get to go into a lot of shops that I’ve been wanting to check out, and also discover some new ones. The best part of this for me though was it was like a combined endurance event/photography job. I had about 12 locations I wanted to go to (of a total of more than 30 available!) in about 90 minutes! The locations were all close to each other but the first and the last point were about a mile and a half in-between. So a good workout and lots of fun meeting local neighborhood business owners and, ok fine, sampling some of the wine along the way:

I started the night at Lillstreet Lofts where registration was happening. There you also had the opportunity to make your own wine glass tag by stamping a symbol or letter of your choice into a piece of metal and then adding a ring around it. Pretty cool idea!

From there I headed to one of my absolute most favorite stores in Chicago. Even if not buying anything, an amazing store to just walk around and look at all the crazy stuff they have. The place is Architectural Artifacts, and it’s a huge, three story building filled with floors and floors of stuff within all the hallways and little rooms. I found some old french lamp shades for my bathroom in a back corner room there a few months ago. Super bizarre and I love it. I don’t think I understood the size and magnitude of this place when I was just searching online for reclaimed furniture/hardware. Just go. Trust me. And give yourself at least an hour.

From there it was onto Hazel (both their home and apparel stores). I had been in Hazel once or twice in the past, and I’m 100% going to make an effort to get back there more often. They have a ton of random stuff. I found a book I want to get for my mom, and they have cards, jewelry, retro kids games, cooking things, purses, scarves etc. I hadn’t been in their apparel store but every time I run by, I see something in the window that I want. The woman that worked there was very tall (taller than me which is saying something), so I think they would be understanding (and have solutions) of the height issues I have when looking for clothes.

I think Mineralogy was one I was most excited to learn about. I have a silver ring with a turquoise stone that never has fit quite right. I learned from the owner that she might be able to fix it by either taking the stone out and setting it in something else, or maybe fixing the ring itself. So I’m excited to take it back to her to find out. Also they had great jewelry here but also some other things, like coasters, throw pillows, candles etc.

From here it was onto Foutainhead Market. I think the guy that was describing the wines was one of the most knowledgeable on the routes I took. I was trying to listen to what he was saying, and I took a picture of the bottle that he was raving about that was also not very expensive. Always a good thing for parents of three kids.

Next on my list was Neighborly. I don’t think it has been in the space for too long, but another great shop with tons of cool Chicago prints and other home good things. All very “cool” and different. Again, this is another place I want to make sure I get into soon. It was also requested that I take a picture of the desserts and food they have (by a wine stroller :)) and so I did…and yes, the brownies were delicious.

I was so excited when I saw that Gideon Welles was on my list of requested stops to make because #ilovethisplace. We tend to go most Sundays for brunch. I think we first went on Mother’s Day after several failed attempts to find a brunch place. By the time we figured it out, they were open and we went for it. It had recently changed names/owners and I hadn’t liked it in its previous incarnation, so I was hoping that it had improved. And improved it had. Before Jason and I had kids, we were always a regular somewhere. We had “our” bartender, and tended to know most of the staff and the owner/manager etc. Obviously that lifestyle doesn’t work when you have kids. Or does it? You heard it from me first. It can exist again, and we’ve found it. Kerry Anne is the best bartender/server in the world AND most importantly, she’s good with the kids! I mean for serious, we could actually go and watch part of the Bears game AND be in a bar with other Bears fans. It’s #fullofwin and I recommend to everyone that you check it out. Oh, and the chilaquiles on the menu for brunch are delicious if you like the spicy.

And a random note: it was the girl in the middle’s birthday. Happy birthday!

A few doors north is homesoul, which was next. Another home goods store with cute things. At one point a few months ago, they had these really cool industrial style lamps. I don’t know if they have them anymore, but they were super interesting. This is what I’m saying…all these shops have just a little something different and fun.

I took just a few pictures in Luella’s Southern Kitchen, and I learned that 100% I need to go here for dinner. The food on people’s plates looked amazing, and I think it could be a fun night out. I just read the About on the their website and, apparently, “Luella” was the chef’s great-grandmother in which he grew up in her kitchen, learning about cooking etc. Also it’s BYOB and it’s half off kids menu from 2-6 with a purchase of an adult plate, so that’s like a win-win right there.

Onward to Amadara the new store on the corner of Wilson and Western. Filled with all kinds of brightly colored treasures, this place had quite a few people there drinking wine (of course) and perusing the shop. The shop owner was super cute and tiny. She was talking about the potato salad she had made for the event and how she was worried that it would be too spicy. I didn’t get a chance to try it, but I heard people talking about how good it was. She said she figured everyone on the wine stroll would have crackers and cheese and they wanted to do something different.

Across the street and half a block north was Nomadic Ant. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t even know this shop existed. Or maybe I noticed it once walking by but didn’t think about it. It’s so awesome! There are a pair of earrings I 100% want, and the photographs on the wall were fantastic. I don’t think they’ve been here too long and I think the owner travels a lot, but it’s a place I really want to go back to. It’s kind of cool because it’s below street level so there are some stairs to get down into it. Very cute space and cool stuff in it. Highly recommend checking it out.

Last, but not least, was a stop at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. They have classes here! One was going on during the wine stroll. They were making prints from an etching they had made. I guess you etch the drawing onto the copper plate, then fill the spaces with ink, and rub off the ink on the surfaces so only the ink from the spaces get filled. Then roll it through this machine and you have a print. There are lots of classes available, and you can take them with no experience (that would be me!). Something to look into in the future.

I was also excited here because one of the wines they had to taste was one that I knew! I only buy wine based on label (but I buy it from Provenance so I know I can’t go wrong), and I liked the bird label on the bottle.

And thus my wine stroll ended. I had so much fun meeting the different shop owners, learning more about their businesses, and most importantly learning about my dire need to go out to shop and eat at these fantastic locations!


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