10 LGBTQ+ Ally Businesses to Support as Pride Month Gets Underway
June marks the start of summer as well as the observance of Pride Month, an annual celebration that recognizes the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history and beyond. To honor the occasion, we’re featuring a selection of unique businesses located within the Chicago area that are LGBTQ+ allies. From gift shops to restaurants, here are 10 places to check out that wave the Pride flag year ‘round.
This imaginative Humboldt Park gift store offers an array of Chicago-made goods that pair art, design, and vintage finds with a community-oriented feminist theme. Owner Claire Tibbs and her team of local artists and designers curate locally found furniture, jewelry, ceramics, body products, and more to showcase throughout Humboldt House.
With locations in Wicker Park and the West Loop, Asrai Garden combines floral arrangements, fine jewelry, home goods, and other interesting baubles to create an eye-catching vibe throughout both stores. Founded by Elizabeth Cronin in 1999, the store can accommodate online floral orders, as well as weddings and events. The store is also known for its cult-favorite Forever, Ever Jewelry that requires an appointment for a custom fit bracelet that is permanently welded on.
What started as a single custom framing store in 2001 has evolved into four gift stores within Andersonville and Lakeview. While Foursided still offers custom framing at most locations, each store features art, gifts, and greeting cards, including original designs created by founder and CEO Todd Mack. The mission of Mack’s team is to bring each customer’s imagination to life through art, custom framing, and memorable gifts.
Mark Towns and Stephen Pearlman, owners of Edgewater Candles, use the highest quality ingredients to produce soy-based candles with cotton wicks and customized fragrance offerings. Their products can also be found in shops and craft fairs throughout Chicago. The studio portion of the store is currently undergoing a renovation and once completed will offer candle-making classes.
Take a break from shopping and refuel at Franco Gianni’s Wood restaurant with classic French dishes sourced with locally grown produce, house-butchered meats, and homemade pasta. Situated in the heart of Chicago’s Northalsted neighborhood, Chef Devin Kreller ensures an innovative seasonal menu of sharable plates including charcuterie and flatbreads. Wood is a six-time Michelin Bib Gourmand winner and is also known for its whimsical cocktails, extensive wine list, and eclectic beers.
Named one of the city’s Five Best LGBTQ Bars by Chicago Magazine, Uptown’s Big Chicks is a self-proclaimed hipster dive bar with a dance floor you won’t want to leave. Its sister restaurant, Tweet, serves a range of classic and non-traditional dishes, as well as a hearty brunch. Owner Michelle Fire showcases her personal art collection on the walls and many of the artists’ favorite dishes are noted on the menu.
photo credit: @bigchicks_theuptownbar
Offering a vast selection of craft beers, spirits, fine wines, artisan cheese, and charcuterie, as well as locally made hostess gifts, Provisions has locations in Rogers Park and Uptown. This modern-day general store is your one-stop-shop before any dinner party and prides itself on locally sourced products, community engagement, and customer service. Owners Erik Archambeault and William Meek also use their stores as a venue for small concerts and weekly wine tastings.
This specialty coffee shop is located in Andersonville and serves up a full range of coffee drinks, loose leaf teas, and pastries. Founded in 2017 by owners Sarah Riddle and Katy Weseman, Ridman’s Coffee was a lifelong dream for both women. Their philosophy for the shop is Chicago quality combined with Southern hospitality.
Cowboys and Astronauts
Partners Matthew Buccilla and Greg Lanier, co-founders of Cowboys and Astronauts, created their clothing store to bring a fresh take to men’s lifestyle wear. The Andersonville store aims to feature designs that are inclusive and accessible to all body types. In addition to apparel, the store offers accessories, travel supplies, self-care products, and home goods that are meant to celebrate individualism.
photo credit: @cowboysandastronauts
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