This week’s 24 Hours in Chicago guide comes to us from West Town dweller and owner of Sprout Home, in Chicago Tara Heibel. As a longtime Chicago resident, Tara has been able to explore every neighborhood and has fallen in love with the West Town area. Today she shares he idea of a perfect day touring around her neighborhood. Thanks for giving us a quick glimpse of your Chicago, Tara! —Stephanie
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg
Check out the full guide after the jump…
I have lived in West Town Chicago for 20 years now and there is no place I would rather live. Knowing that I loved the neighborhood I proceeded to put my roots down (excuse the pun) and open up Sprout Home two blocks away from where I was living in West Town. I would compare West Town is to Chicago as Williamsburg Brooklyn is to Manhattan. The perfect mix of people and creativity and always something to do.
7:00 AM My alarm blares starting my day. Needing a jumpstart, my first stop is Star Lounge. With an incredible coffee selection I order my personal favorite, Cortez the Thriller. Star Lounge is a top notch start to the day with their passionate, knowledgeable staff and on-tap Dark Matter Coffee!
8:30/9:00 AM At this point and I’m ready to reset my vitals with some plant life. If I’m not at Sprout Home then I’m walking around the Fern Room at Garfield Park Conservatory. The Fern Room is breathtaking with its indoor lagoon and lush ferns. This environment was created to represent what Illinois habitat would have looked like millions of years ago.
9:45 AM I’m ready for a neighborhood walk down Chicago Ave. Starting at Krispyfringe Vintage I try on my next super cute and affordable, vintage outfit. Heck, I may even throw in an accessory or two because I’m feeling so revitalized!
After Krispyfringe I make my way east popping into another favorite – Very Best Vintage. This place always surprises me with newly stocked items, everything from quirky vintage to retro goodies. No doubt they have an awesome vintage collection at great price points!
Continuing east I strap on my boots, pull my belt up and enter Alcala’s Western Wear. Feel like bringing out your inner cowboy? because this is a must stop.
12:45 PM I’m headed to Flo for some lunch and a mid-day cocktail! Always torn between their menu items, I would probably order on the lighter side with their Agave Glazed Salmon Caesar Salad paired with a citrusy classic cocktail like the Caipirinha.
2:00 PM I’m ready for some action at Dovetail. Dovetail is an all-time favorite because of its eclectic, modern approach to classic style. Truly one of a kind store. Dovetail has everything from clothing, locally handmade pocketsquares, to natural apothecary items. This is also an amazing shop because they have strong community involvement and show local artists in the store each month!
Working my way back west with a dinner spot in mind I can’t not stop in at Seek Vintage. Beyond vintage, this shop has the most amazing antiques and oddities plus a little bit of everything else!
Hopping down Chicago Ave I stop into Permanent Records checking for a new record to dance to later. Not far down the block is Paperish Mess, an art gallery and handmade gift shop that most likely has something inside that I want to purchase. It is their feature of local artwork, handmade items, super cool cards and other knickknacks that make it a staple of Ukrainian Village.
4:30 PM I take a small hike further down Chicago Ave. where Komoda lives. I quickly browse through the store before hitting yet another favorite store, Humboldt House! With stunning objects everywhere in the store you can’t help but feel overstimulated by the amazing furniture, jewelry, textiles, and ceramic pieces surrounding you. This place should really be called Humboldt Home because of the warm and welcoming energy of its abundance.
6:30 PM it’s feeding time again and Rootstock is the dinner restaurant I had in mind. What to order? Well, they have a delightful menu, however their burger is a must try because it is the best in town. That’s right, the BEST burger you can find in Chicago! Of course, Rootstock being a wine bar I will satisfy my taste buds with a glass or two of red wine as recommended by the fabulous staff. After dinner I’ll hit the California Clipper, virtually next door. It is close, cheap, and serves great after dinner cocktails. Heck, you might hear some live music if you come on the right evening! Since this is my day to indulge, and it’s early (maybe 9:00ish), I will trek over to the Sportsman. Here you will find five-star craft cocktails, a nice crowd, and bartenders with secret off-menu cocktails.
10:00 PM Feeling fulfilled I travel home…but wait! I just can’t resist a final night-cap at the French inspired cocktail bar just a block away from Sprout Home – Bar Deville. Bar Deville is another staple of the neighborhood with tasty cocktails and great beer on tap. Classy yet casual this hot spot is unique in itself with awesome people and good music.
Some more great spots to try out:
Whether you make a day and/or night out of West Town Chicago I know you will love it as much as I do. Stop in at Sprout Home and say hello when you do – we are always more than happy to make more suggestions.