Damen Avenue Sprouts Creative Local Shops

If you have walked past the Damen Brown Line station recently, you may have noticed a number of new boutiques lining the street. Damen Avenue between Wilson and Lawrence has a funky, alternative spirit all its own, with new shops and even some new twists on old favorites.

Orange Beautiful
4658 N Damen Ave

This paper goods boutique, which opened back in May ’10, is a charming repository of note cards, journals, and gift wrap. Beyond the indie stationery, the shop also features local music, home goods, and accessories. If you don’t find something you like on the shelf, Orange Beautiful does full service custom work, including letterpress, screen printing, and book binding.

4703 N Damen Ave

This shop’s web site says it all: “We make stuff here. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello.” A recent trip on a cold winter day turned up hand-made knit items such as fluffy mittens and hats along with CTA-themed buttons and vintage-styled jewelry. Almost more fun than purchasing a new item is the hand written receipt you get at the cash register.

Hoard Antiques
4710 N Damen Ave

The antique store with a retro bent, Hoard Antiques is run by “proprietor and hoarder” Jayson Lambert. Another newbie to Damen Avenue (Hoard opened its doors in October 2010), this shop features an eclectic and nostalgic collection of items including furniture, bicycles, clothes, and colorful knickknacks. Stop into Hoard if you’re in the market for collectible kitsch and work done by local artists.

krispyfringe |vintage couture
4725 N Damen, Chicago IL

The most recent addition to this stretch of Damen is krispyfringe Vintage Couture – they had their opening on January 15! Featuring a custom-made shoe studio, krispyfringe offers altered vintage, new fashion, and handmade leather. Their weekend opening was filled to the brim with wine-glass-toting shoppers and browsers. This independent fashion house brings a unique name and a unique look to Damen Ave.

Need a snack after all that shopping? New-to-the-neighborhood Bagel on Damen has opened its second location just under the El tracks (4639 North Damen Ave). The Perfect Cup (4700 N Damen Ave) recently expanded its popular coffee shop and now has even more comfy seating. Both eateries are cash-only.