A backyard sprinkled with picnic tables and tomato plants and surrounded by a white picket fence give Bang Bang Pie Shop an unpretentious, down-home feel. Owner Michael Ciapciak describes it as “Logan Square’s family room." Ciapciak has built his business on Midwestern comfort food and his personable nature. He can often be found at the shop chatting with regulars and greeting customers. “The best thing about being a business owner in a small neighborhood is that you feel like you’re part of a community,” he says. “It’s not just about transactions.”

Ciapciak, along with husband and...

Collecting and selling records began as a hobby for Rick Wojcik and JP Schauer. Then, in 1996, while trapped in a snowstorm in the mountains in Pennsylvania on their way back from a trip to buy records, the friends got an idea: They decided to open an online store at dustygroove.com specializing in rare and imported records. At the time, record stores weren’t as diverse as they are nowadays, and most focused primarily on rock and roll. By using the internet as their storefront, they could offer hard-to-come-by records and unconventional genres including hip hop, Brazilian, jazz, Afro-funk...

When friends Stephen Bossu, Jonathan Fritz, and Samantha Lee opened Hopewell Brewing Company at 2760 N. Milwaukee Avenue in February of 2016, they intended to create a friendly and welcoming environment in their taproom with accessible beers to match that vibe.

“We have a pretty specific vision [for] all of our beers,” says Fritz. “We like beer to be inviting.”

Five of Hopewell’s ten taps are dedicated to the brewery’s core lineup: First Lager, Endgrain Lager, Farm and Family Saison, Swift IPA, and 24:37 Red IPA. The remaining five taps are reserved for specialty beers, such...

A few years back, Michael Salvatore, owner of Heritage Bicycles, was riding through Lakeview and came across an empty, boarded up building. Peeking inside, he saw the potential in this seemingly lifeless, underutilized space. The space would eventually become Heritage Bicycles General Store.

The General Store at 2959 N. Lincoln Ave is a combination of bike manufacturer, bike repair shop, and café. It is well known for the high quality bikes it produces, along with the friendly feeling of the café. For Salvatore, coffee and bikes seem to go hand in hand, so he wanted to combine the...

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