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.
Renowned chef Tim Canning and co-owner Shaun Black lead a team of skilled butchers, cheesemongers and culinary specialists at their Downer’s Grove grocery store Lemon Tree Grocer Direct Organics, which specializes in natural and organic foods. The cheerful food purveyors greet shoppers with smiles, calling locals by name and newcomers by spirit animal and making recommendations on the best wines, cheeses, and produce. In addition to traditional grocery items, the modern store stocks vegan, gluten-free, and kosher products, as well as responsibly raised and sustainable fish and meat selections from growers such as Niman Ranch.
Driven by the idea that good food pairs best with good conversation, Zest Café features a communal table for dining and socializing, as well as private tables for sipping wine and whispering nutrition facts. The lunch and dinner menus are casual but gourmet, replete with rich ingredients such as Maine lobster and croissants. Special events such as live music, wine tastings, and occasional synchronized grocery-cart frolics make the shopping experience unique and spirited.
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.
Each Discount Mattress store stocks hundreds of name-brand memory-foam, latex, gel, and pillow-top mattresses, all with prices averaging 50%–75% below retail. Brand-new mattresses from manufacturers such as Stearns & Foster, Spring Air Back Supporter, King Koil, Comfort Solutions, Americana, and Kathy Ireland Collection saturate the showroom floors, offering a variety of firmness levels to suit beds, budgets, and pillow forts of all sizes. Each an experienced sleeper themselves, staff members are well-suited to assist customers in their quest for sounder slumber, and each purchase is backed by a 110% price guarantee should the same mattress appear somewhere else for less. In addition to supporting spines, Discount Mattress helps buttress the Illinois economy by selling mattresses that are made locally, and caters to busy schedules by offering same-day delivery to homes from the western suburbs to downtown Chicago.
The staff at K.S. Mathis Jewelers matches patrons with ideal adornments for weddings, engagements, or everyday glamour. The shop’s customization services allow fiancés to devise unique wedding bands based on size, weight, and diamond cut, and jewelry appraisals potentially save hobbits a treacherous voyage to Mordor. The staff tinkers with broken timepieces and completes repairs on site, checking pressure and replacing spent batteries. A slew of purchasable pendants, bracelets, and rings spruces up outfits for a night on the town or an attempt to outshine the sun.
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.