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Lakeview is a destination neighborhood for many visitors in Chicago. From the glorious view of the lakefront path to the bustling bars of Boystown, there is so much to explore. But it isn’t just the friendly neighbors that make Lakeview a desirable place to live. The marvelous restaurants, longstanding clubs, and enticing retail shops make this neighborhood one of Chicago’s finest.
These small businesses are integral to our communities and so many of us are itching to give them our support. Here are just a few local Lakeview businesses you can support.
Though Halsted street might get the most foot traffic, residents know some of the real magic lies along Broadway. Slightly north of Diversey, The Inkling Shop is one of those neighborhood gems.
The store is a classic gift-oriented shop, with trinkets and tchotchkes galore. A wide variety of games and puzzles adorn the shop, and household items lik candles and silverware. For those more artistically inclined, the Inkling Shop has a range of art supplies for any quarantined creative.
Their website includes all their products for indulging in remote retail therapy. Peruse all their items on the company site: https://www.theinklingshop.com/
Right off the busiest part of Boystown lies a hidden gem for any cake lover. Jennivee’s Bakery, an LGBTQ-owned shop in Lakeview, has held critical acclaim for their classic and specialty desserts.
Owner Jenni Vee creates magnificent cakes that are mostly of American and Filippino staples. Popular favorites like tres leches can be ordered by the slice. Others like the mango cream cake and the purple velvet cement their bakery as a unique and imaginative eatery. You can also pre-order specialty cakes online for a birthday or graduation gift.
Treat yourself to some delicious and local sweets this winter. Check out their menu at Jennivee’s website: https://www.jenniveesbakery.com/
Whenever I make it up to Belmont and Broadway, I have to make a stop at the Unabridged Bookstore. This local attraction has been exciting bibliophiles since the early 1980s.
This bookstore is the quintessential spot for LGBTQ literature and discount paperbacks. Even finding a book is easy; many new arrivals and classics include a detailed note from one of their devoted staff. It’s a place where the love of literature permeates through each thoughtfully curated section.
The shop is currently open with limited capacity to ensure the safety of its customers. If going into a bookstore isn’t enticing at the moment, you can find all of their selections online. Give Amazon a break and check out some marvelous reads on Unabridged’s website: https://www.unabridgedbookstore.com/welcome
Formally known as That’s Amore Florist, this family-owned flower shop is a staple of the Southport Corridor. Located on the westside of Lakeview, this store has bouquets and curated packages for all occasions.
Opening up shop a year before the pandemic, the store is still the bustling center of Southport’s commercial area. With many scheduled weddings transforming into smaller, safer gatherings, Primrose Chicago is the perfect spot for providing quick arrangements.
Primrose is a terrific place to visit for a beginner florist as well. Succulents and aloe plants are ready to be taken home, with many colorful, artisanal pots to choose from.
Buy plants locally at this go-to flower shop in Lakeview. Check out all their available items online: https://primrosechicago.com/
Lakeview is never deficient of dog owners and their friendly canines. On any given day, you’ll see pups striding down the energetic main streets of the neighborhood. With so many dogs around, the need for a quality pet store in the area is required. Barks N Rec is that special place for all your animal’s needs.
Barks N Rec has the essential goods for dogs of all shapes and sizes. The brand also sports many luxury items, including apparel and accessories. If the owners are feeling left out, there’s also merchandise for humans like shirts, hats, and glassware.
Is your dog looking for some love and appreciation this Valentine’s Day? Barks N Rec offers a customized Valentine’s box for your beloved pet. You can add cookies, toys, and other treats to your basket so you can shower your dog with unrelenting love.
Stop into this canine paradise or shop gifts online here: https://www.shopbarksnrec.com/product/valentine-s-day-gift-box-/3193
Lakeview is clearly a unique and vibrant place to explore. Businesses have been affected by the pandemic, but we can still show our support, whether in person or shopping remotely. Rest assured, Lakeview will always be home to some of Chicago’s most brilliant and innovative storefronts.