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.
Bob Miller has kept men, women, and children off the ropes for more than 25 years. As a certified U.S. amateur-boxing Level II coach and professional trainer, he's armed men and women with confidence and competence to jab, bob, and weave into professional boxing careers. Bob continues to focus his pugilistic pedagogy on the nitty-gritty of footwork, conditioning, and practice lessons of aspiring boxers of all skill levels. The boxing gym sports boxing rings, heavy and speed bags, and an avalanche of tools to keep warriors light on their feet and free from the wrath of inflatable, bottom-heavy clowns. After sparring, kickboxing, or jujitsuing with one of the coaches during any number of cardio-blasting classes, students can ratchet down adrenaline levels by taking a relaxing shower in the locker rooms with free towel service.
Memories & Beyond's papers, dies, stamps, tools, and classes equip crafters with all the materials and skills needed to preserve precious keepsakes. Underneath an enormous red sign reading "scrapbooking," 6,000 square feet of ribbon and stationery unfold before visitors, helping them to chronicle distant journeys with an extensive travel section or show off regional pride with a wealth of Chicagoland-themed papers. Each Friday and Saturday night, hobbyists gather amid the account machines, die cuts, and tables of the crop room to craft and share drinks and snacks. Classes hone basic and advanced scrapbooking skills sets, from matching basic colors and patterns to constructing stunning gift cards from layered paper or documenting memories before they even happen.
Surrounded by yellow walls and gleaming bottles of fine wines and craft beers, patrons test new additions to the store's inventory during tasting classes. At sessions accompanied by light appetizers, knowledgeable staff members pour samples of six select wines and explain what makes each wine unique and how its flavor profile will pair with entrees or desserts. In addition to libations, the store's wooden racks hold wine accessories such as aerators and bottle decorations and gift baskets filled with chocolates. Custom label creations are also available to personalize bottles for weddings, anniversary celebrations, or protection inside the office refrigerator.