PILSEN – The pandemic has shown how important it is to support local businesses.
The pandemic has forced the closure of local favorites including Sabor y Sazon and Step Down Cafe. But others stay – and they rely on your business to stay open.
To make it as easy as possible to support these local places, Block Club has brought together a few small businesses in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards where you can buy gifts while doing your holiday shopping.
Some purchasing possibilities:
Sleep Walk Chocolatería and Cafe, 1844 S. Blue Island Ave. Website.
Tucked away on Blue Island just off 18th Street, this Dark Matter Coffee coffeeshop and chocolate shop offers an assortment of homemade chocolates and bags of coffee beans.
His Sweet Spot Box ($ 60) includes five chocolate bars, four sachets of drinking chocolate, and three mini jars of honey. Throw in a molinillo ($ 15) to take your loved one’s Mexican drinking chocolate to the next level.
Pocha Pet Boutique, 1840 S. Racine Ave. Website.
This Pilsen pet store has everything you need for pet owners who treat their puppies like family, from dog sports shirts to colorful collars.
Expect a great discount on Black Friday and, closer to Christmas, some homemade dog tamales.
Pinwheel Records, 1722 W. 18th St. Website.
For music fanatics, this Pilsen record store has an extensive collection of vinyl records, new and used.
If you are not sure what kind of music your loved one likes, you can surprise them with a Pinwheel gift card so that they can choose their own records.
Vintage Knee Deep, 1219 W. 18th St. Website.
This vintage boutique in Pilsen has everything from 50s floral dresses to 90s grunge t-shirts for the avant-garde people in your life.
As well as clothes, don’t forget to take a look at the glass counter stocked with accessories, including pearl necklaces, colorful bracelets, and retro clutch bags.
Knee Deep is open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. 312-850-2510. Instagram.
Shudio, 1152 W. 18th St. Website.
Located in the heart of Pilsen, this quaint boutique offers a wide variety of gift options, from plants and jewelry to handbags and perfumes. You can always enter its North King bomber jacket in vanilla leather ($ 44) or one J Gallerie Pale Olive Metallic Trench Coat ($ 60).
To give someone the experience of shopping for themselves, Shudio also offers gift cards.
Shudio is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 312-898-3061. Instagram.
Osito’s Tap, 2553 S. Ridgeway Ave. Website.
For fans of this Little Village underground bar, consider Osito’s Tap merchandise, which includes Colorful lottery themed t-shirts ($ 25).
Or, treat someone to the experience of frequenting the cocktail bar itself with an Osito’s Tap gift card.
Osito’s Tap is open 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Wednesday to Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Friday to Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to midnight Sunday. 773-277-8117. Instagram.
Boutique Solei, 3738 W. 26th St. Website.
This boutique in the heart of Little Village offers handmade clothing and other accessories made by people in indigenous co-ops in Mexico. One option: you can buy a embroidered bell sleeve dress ($ 65) – and you can choose its colors.
In addition to shopping in person and online on its website, Solei has an Etsy store called SoleiEthnic.
The Solei boutique is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 773-715-4771. Instagram.
Discount Shopping Center, 1315 W. 26th St. Website.
This iconic neighborhood mall on 26th Street is home to over 100 small businesses.
Consider visiting some of the many stores inside, including Palominos Western Wear, P&L Jewelry, Royal Fashion, and the popular Chicago Pet Store for your vacation shopping this year.
In-store purchases are available daily. Hours vary by store.
The back of the yards
Café Back of the Yards, 2059 W. 47th St. Website.
This local cafe offers a variety of beans, both ground and whole, as well as coffee products, cold brew cans (packs of four for $ 14.99) and even a filter coffee machine ($ 35) for your loved ones addicted to caffeine.
You can also offer someone a membership to their Cafe-Club. They can choose the coffee they want, ground or bean, how much they want and how often it is delivered.
Sugarberry, online. Website.
Based in her Back of the Yards home, Sara Victoria Lopez Zuñiga sells richly hand-decorated cookies as well as DIY cookie decorating kits to go with holiday themes.
For Christmas, expect nutcracker-themed cookies, a buildable gingerbread house kit, and a Christmas DIY kit in early December.
Sputnik Coffee Company, 2057 W. 51st St. Website.
Based in the heart of Back of the Yards, this coffee and roast showcases a unique and signature blend of a medium roast coffee, described as mild and with hints of chocolate.
Sputnik has already started selling holiday gift boxes ($ 29) which includes two 8-ounce bags of coffee with the choice of a Sputnik t-shirt, mug, or mug.
Sputnik is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. 847-668-8075. Instagram.
Did we miss your favorite neighborhood spot? Do not worry! Add it to our Block Club Reading Guide, which will be out in early December.
Listen to “It’s All Right: A Podcast from Block Club Chicago” here: