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.
Play It Again Sports bedecks kids and adults alike with high-end, wallet-friendly athletic armor so that they can kick, swing, and punt with gusto. Scores of gently used merchandise, perfect for replacing equipment that children have grown out of because of rampant milk abuse, arrive daily and boast brand names such as Adidas, Taylor Made, and Easton. At the Frankfort location, pint-size puck handlers can improve their speed and whittle their hockey sticks with Bauer Supreme One 20 youth skates ($49.99). Crystal Lake's elliptical trainers and exercise bikes sculpt calves into steel, and Downers Grove's Wilson Evolution basketballs ($49.99) keep droves of neighborhood kids active. Each Play It Again Sports store encourages customers to bring in their own old or outgrown equipment to sell or trade for referee signal-decoder rings.
In a welcoming, wood-paneled setting, the knowledgeable staff members at The Humidor stock their humidity-controlled shelves with an array of cigars from around the world, including Montecristo, Macanudo, Partagas, and many boutique and hard-to-find varieties. Lovingly rolled by nimble-fingered torcedores, Graycliff house-blend stogies ($9.95–$12.50) lend their celebratory smoke rings to any special occasion, and AVO house-blend cigars ($11.95–$14.95) beguile aficionados with their Dominican tobacco flavors and rakishly twirled moustaches. An assorted quartet of cigars fills each humidor grab bag ($20), and portable humidors ($20+) keep smokeables fresh on the go. Both shops' comfortable lounges offer complimentary coffee and espresso, as well as a place to socialize with fellow exhaling enthusiasts or play marathon games of cigar Jenga.
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.
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.