Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding, skis, and ice skates. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups, and even sharpen skates or wax snowboards. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Depending on which wall you first look at when entering Motiv8 Skate Shop, it’s easy to think you’ve stepped into an art gallery. Hung along the wall like a painting exhibition, a collection of skateboard decks from lines such as Alien Workshop and Girl attracts shoppers with an array of colors and designs. Beyond that, a stock of longboards and BMX bikes and accessories inspires athletes to dream about conquering halfpipes or biking across the Atlantic Ocean. The staff also keeps the racks filled with a selection of clothing and shoes from designers such as Etnies and Emerica.
WLS-TV anchor Ron Magers, former Chicago Bulls center and coach Bill Cartwright, former Exelon Corporation CEO John Rowe, Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, and author and attorney Scott Turow often find themselves reaching for the same suit. They do not share a closet, but the staff at Duru’s Custom Shirts and Suits claims to have tailored threads for each of them. The shop's clothiers, in fact, have draped Egyptian cotton and lightweight wool across the shoulders of numerous notable Chicagoans over the course of more than four decades in business. With the hushed sounds of tailor’s chalk on fabric and humming machinery in the background, the workers also alter wardrobes when patrons are accepting an award or trying to clothe the little guy on their award.
Microsoft stores outfit cyborgs-in-training with high-tech tools including software, computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, and accessories. Customers can manipulate brawny athletes with their fingertips during endless seasons of Madden NFL 12 ($59.95). A Gears of War 3 wireless controller ($59.99) stamped with the Infected Omen symbol aids the quest to defeat the alien race and discover the cure for Infected Omen symbols. The Xbox 360 4 GB console with Kinect bundle ($299.99) doesn’t need a controller during playtime, so gamers can compete by swaying hips, stomping feet, and knitting leg warmers while playing Kinect games such as Dance Central ($39.99). At both locations, tech wizards roam the stores' airy environs helping customers alight on the right devices or programs for their needs.
Inside Rocky Patel Cigars, an enormous humidor houses row upon row of Dominican and Nicaraguan cigars. Once shoppers have unsheathed their favorite one, they can complement it with accessories ranging from cutters and lighters to travel humidors and hookahs. At the Lakemoor location known as Kenny The King Lakemoor, an onsite cigar lounge—complete with television and poker table—awaits patrons who’d like to stick around and enjoy their purchases right away, practicing smoke rings or working on their smoke self-portrait.
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for?fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Caf?, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.