Operating Outside the Norm: 10 Chicagoland Businesses Shaking Things Up

There is no denying the impact that COVID-19 has had on our day-to-day lives, which is why it’s never been more important to support the local businesses that help our communities thrive.

From a fabric store on the North Shore that is helping people make masks for essential workers to a distillery that’s producing hand sanitizer instead of spirits, local businesses have come together in new ways to support each other, their communities, and those on the frontlines.

While you stay safe at home, here are 10 local businesses that you can help support throughout Chicagoland.

The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, Forest Park

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Luckily, The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor has risen to the challenge and is serving up fresh pre-packaged scoops. Their walk-up window makes it safe and easy to choose from a number of flavors; and for those feeling particularly ambitious, the shop is also selling ice cream sundae kits with all the ingredients for a scrumptious treat.

Dorian’s, Wicker Park

Dorian’s in Wicker Park knows that nothing pairs better with a beverage than good music. So this totally unique record shop/cocktail lounge concept has a plan to keep you vibing and imbibing throughout the lockdown. Purchase one of the shop’s quarantine packages, which includes a signature cocktail kit or low-intervention wine, plus a record from the bar’s vinyl shop. Dorian’s is offering two types of packages for delivery or pickup: “Curated Quarantine Packages” that the shop puts together for you, or “Choose Your Own Adventure” for those who want to customize their order.

Gemini, Lincoln Park

The Lincoln Park hotspot is still open for delivery and curbside pickup, but the main attraction is their selection of cocktail kits that make it easy to create their signature cocktails at home. Choose from a rotating selection of large format cocktail kits or their martini kit, which helps you tap into your inner bartender with a bottle of gin, a bottle of vermouth, a martini shaker, a jigger, and regular or blue cheese olives.

Koval Distillery, Ravenswood

Typically known for their whiskey and gin, Koval Distillery has switched up production to help healthcare workers and retirement homes. They’ve gone on to make and donate thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer instead, which you can now order here.

Paradise Park, Wicker Park

In addition to offering a robust menu of pizzas and appetizers for pickup and delivery, Paradise Park in Wicker Park is selling a variety of “survival kits” to spice up dinner at home. Kits include a “Basic DIY Pizza” with all the fixings you need to make a fresh pie at home; “Keep the Kids Busy and Wine,” with dough for a 10” pizza, cheese, garlic olive oil, and a bottle of wine; and several cocktail kits ranging from the restaurants’ iconic Umbrella drink to a classic Moscow Mule. Sister restaurants Homeslice (Lincoln Park) and Happy Camper (Old Town and Wrigleyville) have similar menu items.

Snappy Printing and Graphics, Lincoln Square

Snappy Printing and Graphics is helping fellow business owners drum up customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by printing free promotional banners and signs. They’ve already printed over 50 signs in an effort to help other businesses stay open. Snappy Printing and Graphics specializes in making an array of other marketing materials, including custom stickers, mugs, mouse pads, doormats, and more.

TipsySpace, West Loop

If you’ve grown tired of your own cooking, TipsySpace is offering delivery and curbside pickup of their tasty (and witty) baked goods and delicious hot meals. You can even order a specialty cake if you or a loved one are celebrating a birthday during the Stay At Home order (or if you’re just craving a sweet treat). You’ve probably seen their iconic toilet paper cake on the news!

Vogue Fabrics, Evanston

The North Shore fabric store is selling pre-cut fabrics and elastics to help you sew masks for you, your family, and others in need. Vogue Fabrics has instructions for sewing masks on their website, as well as updates on incoming shipments of materials. To see a list of facilities in need of masks or other protective gear, visit Sewing & Craft Alliance’s website.

Vincent, Andersonville

Vincent has switched up their menu to accommodate curbside pickup. They have also graciously launched the Comida program, which provides packaged meals to those who have been furloughed or laid off from the hospitality industry. Although limited, they will deliver to those who are considered at-risk.

Wild Child, Glencoe

For all the parents whose children have gone a little stir crazy, call up the owners at Wild Child in Glencoe to learn what puzzles and toys are available for purchase. The owners will offer suggestions and send you pictures via text or FaceTime to select items. They are also personally delivering purchases to customers around the North Shore and are doing curbside pickups for those outside the region.

@properties supports all local businesses and we would love to hear about your favorites in the comments below.

Written by Arianna Frederick
Arianna Frederick is the communications coordinator for @properties.