The Little Guys Home Technology adorns abodes with home theaters and other audiovisual equipment through a dedication to customer service. Rows of obedient Klipsch, B&W, and Velodyne speakers ($99+) line the showroom as valiant audio soldiers that protect and serve by imbuing each note of the Lamb Chop theme song with eardrum-tingling tonal clarity. Alternatively, a set of headphones forge a more direct audio-to-eardrum connection ($29.95+), and the LG, Sony, and Panasonic TVs splash living room walls with sharp, clear, and colorful imagery ($399+). Finally, customers can test home-theater technology in a series of "lifestyle rooms" rigged with realistic interior accessories such as fake fireplaces, potted plants, and unwashed dishes you plan to clean just as soon as this episode is over.
Your one-night Vintner's Getaway package includes a tour of the Crown Valley Winery, wherein a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will lead you through the behind-the-scenes areas of the 55-acre winery, taking you step by increasingly zigzagged step through the wine-making process. Along the way, you'll get an up-close look at the massive tanks, the wine-storing oak barrels, and the bottling line before sampling the creations in their final form. You'll also enjoy a separate tour of Crown Valley's champagne house, complete with tastings of its effervescent, fizzy-lifting drinks.
When you only eat popcorn drizzled in butter substitute at the movies, you're missing out on the cinematic snack's potential. That's why Holly's Popcorn owner Steve Hamilton decided to create a line of gourmet popcorns made with recognizable ingredients, from real butter to brown sugar or Wisconsin cheddar—the only currency used in Milwaukee. Hamilton uses these to create a range of popcorn flavors, from the classic Chicago style with cheese and caramel to the gourmet peanut butter chocolate drizzle. Holly's Popcorn offers more than indulgent treats. In addition, the popcorn master has also created Fittpop, a healthy, air-popped popcorn seasoned only with a dash of sea salt.
Tommy Nevin's Pub was founded by Steven Prescott and christened for his grandfather Thomas Nevin, a WWI veteran. The flagship location in Evanston touts a bright red façade that pays homage to the renowned Temple Bar in Dublin, and the menus at all three locations likewise salute the culture of the Emerald Isle. Though it inhabits a decidedly Celtic corner of the pub world, Chicago Bar Project deemed the Evanston outpost “the best bar in the suburbs” for its “intriguing combination of country Irish pub, modern Chicago bar and cutting-edge alternative music venue.” Chefs whip up corned beef and shepherd's pie as bartenders handle taps and spirits. Friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
Alsip Home and Nursery, which was named Best Nursery/Garden Center 2010 by the SouthtownStar, has more than 40 years of sowing, growing, and plant-bestowing experience. The expansive greenhouse and nursery houses hundreds of annuals, perennials, tropical houseplants, vegetables, bulbs, and seasonal plants looking for a place to lay their roots. Plant a shrub such as the Magic Carpet Spirea ($6.97) to coat the ground in lush colors that can hide a spare key. Bring some frostable greenery into your garden with a 4.5" Proven Winner plant ($3.99). 'Tis nearly the season to invite a tree into your home to share holiday pies; fresh-cut Christmas trees and trim will soon be available (starting at $19.99).