Almost a century ago, it was 1914 and William J. Cassidy was gazing out from his livery stable to watch the newfangled automobiles rumble past on Roosevelt Road. He knew then that he’d been right to expand from shoeing horses to also servicing tires. Never having children, Will took his 16-year-old nephew, Hugh, under his wing in the venture. When Will retired, Hugh took over and kept the company afloat even during the bleakest days of the Depression and WWII. Hugh’s six sons all followed in the family footsteps, opening additional locations in the suburbs, and then their children opened even more.
Today, those descendants operate 15 Cassidy Tire & Service locations throughout the city and suburbs. The Cassidy experts keep vehicles running smoothly as they grow old by practicing a full range of other auto services, from rotating tires to changing oil and flushing transmissions.
Play It Again Sports bedecks kids and adults alike with high-end, wallet-friendly athletic armor so that they can kick, swing, and punt with gusto. Scores of gently used merchandise, perfect for replacing equipment that children have grown out of because of rampant milk abuse, arrive daily and boast brand names such as Adidas, Taylor Made, and Easton. At the Frankfort location, pint-size puck handlers can improve their speed and whittle their hockey sticks with Bauer Supreme One 20 youth skates ($49.99). Crystal Lake's elliptical trainers and exercise bikes sculpt calves into steel, and Downers Grove's Wilson Evolution basketballs ($49.99) keep droves of neighborhood kids active. Each Play It Again Sports store encourages customers to bring in their own old or outgrown equipment to sell or trade for referee signal-decoder rings.
Beneath the historic Tivoli Theatre lies Tivoli Bowling Center, an underground playground with a dedicated staff and 12 family-friendly lanes with automatic scoring. At the base of an inconspicuous staircase, slick wooden surfaces greet multicolored balls as they careen toward unsuspecting pins. During "glow bowling" sessions, lights go down and music cranks up, lending lanes a luminescent ambiance. Along with adult and youth leagues, open gutters and protective bumpers accommodate different age and skill groups. While waiting for turns, bowlers can hit the lounge area, where 50-inch televisions assist relaxation along with comfortable, theater-style seating. Pinball, arcade games, and pool round out afternoon retreats to downtown Downers Grove.
In a welcoming, wood-paneled setting, the knowledgeable staff members at The Humidor stock their humidity-controlled shelves with an array of cigars from around the world, including Montecristo, Macanudo, Partagas, and many boutique and hard-to-find varieties. Lovingly rolled by nimble-fingered torcedores, Graycliff house-blend stogies ($9.95–$12.50) lend their celebratory smoke rings to any special occasion, and AVO house-blend cigars ($11.95–$14.95) beguile aficionados with their Dominican tobacco flavors and rakishly twirled moustaches. An assorted quartet of cigars fills each humidor grab bag ($20), and portable humidors ($20+) keep smokeables fresh on the go. Both shops' comfortable lounges offer complimentary coffee and espresso, as well as a place to socialize with fellow exhaling enthusiasts or play marathon games of cigar Jenga.
Back when Jill Card and her husband were going on their first date, he told her to wear ?jeans and a cute top.? More than two decades later, the couple decided that would be the perfect name for Jill?s clothing boutique, where women of all ages and sizes can now find their own jeans and blouse or sweater for a first date, a night on the town with the fellow jury members, or a day spent hanging around the house. Her shop?s apparel quickly earned awards and media attention and enjoyed enough success to launch a second shop just 14 months later and a third boutique three-and-a-half years later. The laudations still pour in; the shop was named the Best Place to Buy Women?s Jeans by West Suburban Living magazine in 2012 and 2013.
To earn this praise, Jill selects a wide range of jeans from brands such as Silver, Level 99, Miracle Body, Jag, Miss Me, Liverpool, and Kut from the Kloth, enabling denim-seekers from multiple generations to find styles they like. Her friendly staff is likewise well versed on the fit and style of every jean in the shop. She also offers free basic hem alterations. To pair with the jeans, Jill's stores overflow with cute tops, sweaters, blouses, and jackets from labels including Nick & Mo, Boho Chic, Insight, BB Dakota, Kensie, and Tulle. Jill and her staff also adorn shoppers in necklaces, scarves, and accessories.
The style-savvy staff at Gabby's Gifts curates an eclectic mix of whimsical housewares, kid-centric gifts, and bath- and body-boosting products. Infuse a bathroom with the soothing scents of Archipelago Botanicals' soy- and oat-milk lotions, soy candles, and fragrances ($7–$45), or adorn a living room with plaques by Christine Mason Miller emblazoned with inspirational quotes ($12–$30), instead of tacking up the ambiguous prophecies found in fortune cookies. Chamilia bracelets ($40–$65) and Tokyo Bay handbags ($29.95–$79.95) elegantly enrobe limbs with chic designs, whereas specialty food and drink mixes by Conifer ($5.50–$7.50) upgrade afternoon teatimes. Gabby's Gifts also supplies pintsize patrons with dress-up accouterments from Molly 'N Me ($2–$17), as well as fancy tooth-fairy pillows from Rich Frog ($6.50) to impress the tooth fairy into leaving paper money.