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With live jazz music, USDA Prime steaks aged at least 21 days, and the freshest of seafood, Pete Miller's Seafood & Prime Steak is a living tribute to the colorful life of Harold “Pete” Miller. Miller grew up an avid hunter, studied History in college, and earned a Purple Heart as a marine in WWII. He even spent time slinging hats, before eventually settling on becoming a music salesman—a profession that would ignite his love of jazz and lead him to the rhythm-rich city of Chicago. Once settled, he discovered the Davis Street Fishmarket in Evanston where he became a regular, albeit outspoken, patron. He incessantly offered recommendations and recipe suggestions, eventually inciting the chef to hand him an apron and shout, “Do it yourself if you think you know so much!” Miller accepted the challenge and kicked off his culinary career with his usual flair and spontaneity.

Today, the pair of restaurants proudly carrying his name keep his legacy alive, hosting live jazz almost every night of the week, just like he would have wanted. In addition to the regular dinner menu, which features the likes of whole steamed lobsters and bone-in fillets, there’s also a bar menu that boasts more casual eats, such as burgers and sandwiches dressed in khaki slacks. The Wheeling location’s 250-seat patio features a granite bar with room for 50 people, as well as three huge fireplaces.

1557 Sherman Ave
Evanston,
IL
US

After the art of beading wrapped up Ayla Phillips Pizzo in its colorful embrace, she followed her passion to open Ayla's Originals, eventually creating her own line of jewelry, Ayla's Own, which has been featured in the Field Museum. On the walls of Ayla's shop, strings of Czech glass beads, gemstones, shells, and African beads boast enough colors to represent a rainbow or pay homage to a crayon collection. Filling the shop's floor space, cases brim with marcasite silver, oblong chunks of turquoise, and polished emeralds and sapphires. Bauble-stringing beginners can participate in regular classes taught by talented and worldly jewelry smiths that concentrate on various curricula, from creating dewdrop bracelets to wire wrapping the hands of a diamond-store security guard.

1511 Sherman Ave
Evanston,
IL
US

At School of Rock, working musicians help aspiring rockers master the fundamentals needed to perform everything from quaking drum beats to shredding guitar solos. During the Rock 101 program, students attend weekly private lessons and regular group rehearsals with the ultimate goal of stepping out on stage together for a final performance at a real local venue. Both locations also offer summer camps, including a term focused on songwriting and recording, at the end of which students step into an authentic studio to record songs on its high-tech gramophones.

1311 Sherman Pl
Evanston,
IL
US

The style-sensitive staff at Gigi Bottega match patrons with chic and contemporary dresses, tops, and jackets. Options from more than 20 brands, such as Ketz-ke clothing and Stella & Dot accessories, are curated with a couture aesthetic and priced to accommodate a variety of budgets. Inside the bright-walled clothing boutique, the spindly limbs of stylish plants extend upwards from colored pottery amidst racks of seasonal body dressing.

612 Davis Street
Evanston,
Illinois
US

Certified audiophile and beat practitioner Dr. Dre eradicates musical malpractice with his line of high-definition in-ear headphones, Beats. Wired with Monster cabling and featuring velvety basses, crystalline highs, and subliminal message-revealing mids, the in-ear speakers ooze acoustic immaculateness. The sound-isolating ear tips come in three sizes to ensure a tone-tight seal around aural orifices, while the Duraflex protective cable jacket resists tangling and improves durability. Each set of buds comes with a protective carrying case.

831 Foster St
Evanston,
IL
US

The highly trained technicians at Duxler Complete Auto Care tinker and tweak vehicular devices to keep them running, rolling, and stopping safely. During the 45-minute process, a certified mechanic will perform an oil change (a $10 value) to exorcise demonic motor oil from engines and replace it with up to five quarts of blessedly standard oil (a $12.95 value). Along with topping off all fluids, each oil change includes a complimentary vehicle inspection, in which experienced minds check the tires, brakes, suspension, steering components, wiper function, warning lamps, lights, and exhaust system for any underlying issues or cable-chewing gremlins. For a smoother ride and to extend the lifespan of automobiles' fireproof feet, tire rotation is also included (a $20 value).

2620 Green Bay Rd
Evanston,
IL
US

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