Published Nov. 28, 2013
Downtown Hinsdale welcomes new stores, eateries on the way
By Ken Knutson
Tim Scott, Hinsdale’s community development director, said he’s encouraged by the surge in new business activity in town.
“We hope that it helps with leakage of dollars to other towns going for things that we don’t currently have,” Scott said. “It keeps dollars at home.”
He said Unleashed fills a void left when Buster’s closed earlier this year, and noted that Yia Yia’s is well-suited to thrive at its site.
“I think people really associate that space with a restaurant. It’s not only compatible with the central business district, it brings a lot of traffic to the center of town,” Scott said.
He also mentioned plans for a high-end cosmetics boutique at 42 S. Washington to be called Clementine as well as a Peter Burdi-backed restaurant at 112 S. Washington, formerly occupied by Zak’s Place.
Many villages are adding eateries to the their central business mix, Scott said, because they draw visitors and can add to a community’s vibrancy in the evening hours.
“It’s good to see additional life in the greater downtown area that we didn’t have before,” Scott said. “It’s not going to fundamentally alter the character of the area.”
“It’s an ever-evolving marketplace,” he said. “We’re certainly optimistic about the new interest and the planned investment in town.”
ABCuts and Ashley’s Pure Beauty
ABCuts and Ashley’s Pure Beauty sums up its vision for customers in six words: Good grooming, good gifting, good place.
This two-pronged business, which opened earlier this month, offers hair styling and hair care products to customers of all ages.
ABCuts is for the younger set, complete with special miniature cars for salon chairs and a style menu with offerings including “The Kiddo,” “The Buzz-Buzz” and “The Tween Queen.”
Store designer and manager Christina Belle noted that children can fully recline at the hair washing station for optimal comfort, and upon completion of their shampooing, kids will be able to ring a large bell. The shop also carries fun and educational toys.
“We’re just trying to get things that are unusual and fun,” she said.
Ashley’s is for the more mature client, who can come in for a trim or grab a seat at the “dry bar.”
“Young women, young men and adults can get their hair blown out,” Belle said. “It’s the latest in the city and everywhere.”
She explained that the interior is meant to evoke “a charming apothecary,” with vintage downtown Hinsdale elements blending with modern-day amenities.
In just the couple of weeks since opening, Sundays have turned out to be especially lively for the store, Belle said.
“As soon as brunch and church let out, we just have an influx of people,” she said. “It’s perfect for our wholesome, fun, family atmosphere.”
Lavender Home & Gifts
Tucked away on the second floor of 10 W. Hinsdale Ave. is Lavender Home & Gifts, a mother-daughter venture that brings together their shared passion for home decor.
Cathy Danly said the selection criteria she and daughter Brittany Zoufal have for the merchandise sold in the cozy gift boutique is pretty straightforward.
“It’s all stuff that my daughter and I go to market and purchase that we, ourselves, would like to see in our homes,” she said.
The diverse inventory includes everything from household goods and furniture to scarves and jewelry — all in limited quantity.
“(We have) a really wide variety, but little bits of it,” Danly said.
Open since August, the store is gradually making it onto shoppers’ radar, she said.
“Some people just happen upon us, not sure what they’re coming up to,” Danly said with a smile. “Others say somebody they knew came in and told them it was really cute, so they came in.”
And men are certainly welcome, too.
“Men shouldn’t feel intimidated,” Danly said. “We like the company. Even if you’re not going to buy anything, just come up and say ‘Hello.’ ”
Both two-legged and four-legged patrons are welcome at Unleashed by Petco at 30 S. Lincoln.
The store, a compact version of its larger parent to correspond to its in-town location, has virtually everything a dog or cat could need, according to store manager Jerome Anselmo.
“The idea is to be a small, community-type of pet store,” he said. “People can come in and get all their supplies. It’s quick and easy.”
He said the store stocks a wide range of natural and holistic foods, as well as clothing, leashes, beds, bowls and other items.
Live animals are not sold, but owners can bring in their own animal for a $10 self-service pet wash at one of the basins in the back — shampoo, towels and clean-up included.
Anselmo said the store plans to sponsor events with adoption organizations like Hinsdale Humane Society to try to get cats and dogs permanent homes within the community.
The store has been open for a few weeks but is planning a grand opening the weekend of Dec. 7-8.
Village Antiques & Home
Anna Stansbury said many people adore antiques but have trouble incorporating them into their modern space. That’s where her store, Village Antiques & Home, can step in.
“I think the days of having a room full of antiques are gone,” Stansbury said. “What we’re trying to do here is show them how use antiques in their home, but mix it with current furnishings.”
In addition to a broad selection of antiques — mostly French with some English pieces — the store houses an interior design studio as well as consignment items. And those are of more contemporary nature.
“It’s everything from gifts and decorative accessories to furniture and cased goods,” she said.
Stansbury, a longtime Hinsdale resident, said she’s received great feedback since opening in October.
“We’ve had lots of people tell us they’ve been looking for a store like this in town,” she said. “I really like being in my community.”
Grant Square’s restaurant void will be short-lived with the arrival next spring of Yia Yia’s.
Restaurateur Ted Maglaris, who created the farm-to-table-inspired Prasino family of eateries, and partner George Panos will open the diner in the former Grant Square Restaurant space.
“We will serve breakfast and lunch with crepes, lots of salads, fresh squeezed juices,” Maglaris said. “We’re going to incorporate Prasino’s (concept) with Yia Yia’s.”
Maglaris said he initially thought about opening a Prasino in Hinsdale, but it would have been too close the La Grange location.
The footprint of Yia Yia’s will be a little larger than its predecessor and will have space for a juice bar and specialty coffee station.
The duo’s original Yia Yia’s is in North Riverside, and Maglaris also owns Jam N Jelly cafés in Darien and Woodridge.
“I love food. It’s a challenge,” Maglaris said. “If you serve people right and give them good food, people will find you.”
He said Yia Yia’s will open by next March to mark his fifth project in the last four years.
“I think this will be my last one,” Maglaris said, before hedging a bit. “Opening a business, it’s my high. My wife says I’m crazy.”
Fans of pan-Asian cuisine will soon have a new option right in town.
Wild Ginger will be coming to open at 44 S. Washington Ave., formerly home to Gap Kids.
Proprietor Lisa Fang said the restaurant will serve sushi and other Japanese dishes as well as Chinese and Thai food. She said the village would mark the company’s northernmost foray.
“We have several Japanese restaurants in Tennessee,” Fang said. “People are nice and it’s a great location to start my business in the village of Hinsdale.”
On the Move
There have also been a couple of recent intra-town moves. Deep Creek Art has moved from 44 Harrison Place to 16 W. Hinsdale Ave., and Trumeau Design & Decor has relocated from 19 W. Chicago Ave. to 28 W. Hinsdale Ave.