The Porch People are out.
TATI, City Cleaners and Style Central are in.
With the exception of City Cleaners---and that’s only because they don’t have a website---my new retail friends are now added to the links list to the left.
As much as I bitch about the lack of goods and services in the ‘hood, these three small businesses are beacons of hope in the south side retail wilderness.
Large national retailers take note.
TATI is a great bicycle shop on Hyde Park Blvd. Not only can the mild mannered proprietor fix your bike, he can also make recommendations on the best bike for your body type.
If you have enough cash, he can even build a bike for you from scratch.
But that’s not what makes this little shop special.
I rarely run into anyone who’s just so happy go lucky---much less a small business owner. The perils and pitfalls of making a go of a business is harrowing; usually small business owners can be found mumbling to themselves looking disheveled.
Not this cat.
His business hours are somewhat unorthodox, when he’s open he closes everyday at 3:00 PM for an hour for tea time.
As if that weren't enough, get a load of this.
When I didn’t have the money to pay for repairs on my bike he told me just come back and give it to him later.
I almost passed out right then and there.
It was only a $10 bike part but who performs a service and lets someone they don’t know walk out the door without paying?
Trust me folks, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
City Cleaners has several satellites in Hyde Park but I’m a fan on the actual plant at 7159 South Stony Island.
Coincidentally they are located across the street from south side icon Moo & Oink.
Not only can they do quality work, their prices are fair and they have Sunday hours.
You heard me correctly---a dry cleaners that has Sunday hours.
For those of us who have wacky schedules, a dry cleaner that’s open on Sundays is a god send.
Now be warned, since the actual plant is on the premises it’s hotter than hell in there during the warmer months.
Trust me a little sweat is worth the value.
Last but not least are my new friends at Style Central.
I discovered them when I was running errands up in Hyde Park last week. They’re what’s know as a “lifestyle” store.
You know the type of store that has all of those little nick nacky things that make a house a home.
I was thrilled as I went through their offerings and found scented candles that I really liked.
What makes it even sweeter is that I don’t have to leave the south side to get my beloved stinky girl candles.
Now if I could only get stuff closer to my house…