Since 1945, Fuller's Carwash, Detail & Lube Center has mollycoddled motor vehicles with a slew of auto services. Founder Bob Fuller's relatives manage each of the auto center's 11 locations, which sprout up every time someone buries a ratchet in fertile soil. Skilled technicians populate the work bays and invite vehicles inside for oil changes, auto repairs, and tire rotations that extend the life of vehicular shoes by encouraging even tread wear. Soft-cloth car washes and meticulous detailing services bolster a car’s resale value and ensure it stays as pristine as the day it was delivered by a factory-assembled stork.
Built to evoke the spirit of an open-air European marketplace, Standard Market celebrates the possibilities of fresh, artisanal foods. Thanks to relationships with small farmers and producers throughout the Midwest, the shelves stay stocked with products that are either grown or crafted within 300 miles of the store. Even the selection of more than 200 cheeses favors American products, a fact that appealed to the Chicagoist when it named Standard Market one of the five best cheese shops In Chicago.
This local fare appears alongside items imported from abroad, but the freshest products of all are the ones made in-house. In the bakery, staff prepare more than 35 kinds of artisan breads from scratch every morning. Elsewhere, butchers dry-age beef, make their own sausages, and smoke their own bacon. The display cases even showcase pastas made from scratch with a pasta machine imported from Italy via giant slingshot.
In addition to celebrating artisanal ingredients, Standard Market also features a casual grill area where visitors can enjoy a quick meal made using the same meats and produce found on the shelves. Hearty burgers, hand-tossed pizzas, and meal-sized salads help keep hunger pangs at bay before visitors move on to inspect the shop's selection of more than 500 wines and 150 beers from every corner of the world.
Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Wilson make up an all-star lineup across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and football to snowboarding and lacrosse. 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. Indoor batting cages allow customers to take a break from shopping and work on their swing all in one place. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear?including bicycles?and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Before hitting the salon floor, Elite Beauty's pupils undergo rigorous training in the techniques and artistry of cosmetology and nail technology. The academy's stylists—many of whom are bilingual—administer their newfound knowledge in a salon surrounded by sunshine-yellow walls, pulling from an expansive service menu to primp tresses, skin, and nails. Teaching staff also prepare current pros to become cosmetology instructors themselves, the beauty-industry equivalent of a university with a PhD program or the culinary school that appoints the next Chef Boyardee.
Westmont Yard’s indoor 60yd x 90yd rubber infill turf field, which can split into three separate fields, hosts athletic activities for everyone in the family, from a young son’s one-hand-touch football game to a dad’s adult league soccer match. The facility also puts on after school sports programs and houses birthday parties. For tykes too young to play on the fields, they offer The Playroom, replete with a huge bounce house and obstacle course.
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.