Custom-built mountain bikes and hand-built wheelsets may be Richard’s Bikes’ specialty, but cyclists have frequented the store since 1910 to find road, cross-country, and freeride accessories. Staff pack more than 100 years of combined biking experience into the well-oiled gears that power their minds and match customers with premade bikes and equipment from manufacturers including GT, Schwinn, Mongoose, LeMond, and Klein. Richard’s carries a wide selection of helmets and protective gear, cycling apparel, and bike parts of all kinds.
Since taking off the training wheels in 1972, Cycles N Sports has been a full-service bike shop, wrenching two-wheel wisdom into each bike it sells and service it renders. A staff of riding enthusiasts helps customers navigate the shop’s inventory, comprising spoked specimens from such major brands as Electra, Townie, Felt, Giant, Fly, and Stolen, as well as many specialty models. Whether you arrive looking for a bike or parts for a BMX bike, road bike, mountain bike, or the makeshift ramp from the roof of your house, the staff can happily assist and answer questions.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding, skis, and ice skates. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Before they step up to the plate or start stretching at the football field, athletes like to take a lap through Boombah. The sportswear brand is the name behind everything players need to train, play, and claim victory. From the tees and sweatbands they practice in, to the cleats and gloves they don for the games, Boombah helps dress and protect its customers so they can focus on scoring points instead of impressing the team mascot. Their catalog also includes a variety of uniforms?Boombah can suit up whole teams that play baseball, football, volleyball, soccer, and more.
At Studio B, Bettinardi Golf technicians assist players of all ages and skill levels — including such pro athlete clients as St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, and PGA Tour player Brian Gay — in acquiring the signature one-piece milled putter best suited to their stature and style. The experience commences with a 45-minute putter fitting in the lounge-style studio, where skillful staff members draw on both the precision analysis of a four-camera laser system and the arbitrations of the oracle at Delphi to unite players with the perfect short-game club. Customers then select a BB Series Bettinardi putter to take home and incorporate into their green jockeying, whether they prefer the classic design and plumber’s neck of the BB1 or the BB33’s pear-shaped mallet. With putter in hand, customers can outfit themselves for the fairway with their choice of a hat and a towel, useful for cleaning implements before teeing off and for improvising a bullfighter's cape to goad stalled golf carts.
Castaways Bowl caters to its clients with 32 lanes, a full-service eatery, billiards, and other games while retaining the same family-run charm it’s had since 1950. They host competitive bowling tournaments as well as bowling programs that teach the game to children as young as 2, before they can develop the ability to feel empathy for maltreated pins. To fuel further pin-pummeling exploits, Windy City Pizza—an on-site eatery—cooks up a hefty menu of chicken, pasta, and pizza for famished bowlers.