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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

El Dorado Thrift Opens Near Logan Square Blue Line, Making A Family’s Dream Come True

El Dorado Thrift at 2634 N. Milwaukee Ave. is named after the lost city of gold, a nod to the owners' Mexican roots.

Deya Villagomez, 21, works the shop day-to-day.
Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
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LOGAN SQUARE — A family-run thrift store has taken over the former Shoes Center storefront near the Logan Square Blue Line station, selling both high-end and affordable clothing, shoes and accessories.

El Dorado Thrift at 2634 N. Milwaukee Ave. celebrated its grand opening about two weeks ago. The name, referring to the lost city of gold, is a nod to the owners’ Mexican roots.

“It was a city people dreamed about going [to], but no one actually found it. That was our whole thing. You can find hidden gems here,” said 21-year-old Deya Villagomez, whose family owns the shop.

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
The front section of the shop is reserved for high-end items. Basic items can be found in back.

The front section of the shop is dedicated to designer clothing. A Diane Von Furstenberg dress and Theory joggers are among the current offerings. The back is where shoppers can find basic yet high-quality tops, pants, coats and more from brands like J.Crew and Eileen Fisher. Prices range from $5 to $200 for a special designer item.

The owners, a group made up mostly of Villagomez’s brothers and uncles, handpick all of the items, which come directly from a wholesaler. The shop does not currently accept drop-offs.

Villagomez said while her family has always appreciated fashion, the store is about much more than that.

Villagomez’s family is originally from the small Mexican town of Yuriria, located a couple hours northwest of Mexico City. They left in 1990 and settled on Chicago’s Southwest Side, where many of them have been ever since.

“They grew up in Mexico, not having anything, going some days without knowing if they were going to even eat, or literally scavenging for food,” Villagomez said.

“For us, [the store] is something big. They would have never imagined owning a store.”

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
The inside of the new shop, at 2634 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Most recently, the storefront was being used to house stacks of furniture, according to Villagomez. Before that, it was home to a shoe store called Shoes Center.

Villagomez’s family signed the lease this winter. They built fitting rooms and a checkout counter and gave the walls and the ornate ceiling fresh coats of paint.

They also painted Aztec skulls on the wall to the left of where you walk in. It’s meant to be a backdrop for customer photos, but, like the store itself, it’s also an emblem of the family’s culture.

“We’re Mexican, so for us the Aztecs were a very big part of our culture. We wanted to incorporate that into such an artistically diverse neighborhood,” Villagomez said.

Stay up-to-date on the store’s offerings on Facebook.

Credit: Mina Bloom/Block Club Chicago
The exterior of the new shop.

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