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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Stop By ‘Shop Damen’ Open House Saturday To Support Small Bucktown Businesses

Deals and in-store events will be available Saturday at shops along Damen Avenue between Webster Avenue and the 606 Trail.

The Shop Damen Holiday Open House highlights local boutiques and businesses in Bucktown Saturday
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BUCKTOWN — A group of Bucktown business owners are hosting an open house this weekend to encourage shopping local during the holidays.

The Shop Damen Holiday Open House is noon-5 p.m. Saturday at 10 stores, boutiques and restaurants along Damen Avenue between Webster Avenue and the 606 Trail.

Participating businesses are iD, Door 24 Wine, The Royal Grocer, Virtue Alchemy Candle Co., Studio Gild, BFF Bikes, Virtu, Pavilion Antiques, The Red Balloon and Full Circle Pilates.

Virtue Alchemy Candle Co. owner Anna Romo said the event is a way for business owners to encourage shopping small in a neighborhood that’s long been home to locally owned shops.

“This whole stretch of Damen from the 606 to Webster used to be called ‘Indie Row’ because of all the independent boutiques and showrooms and shops,” Romo said. “Then there was a time when a lot of these shops went empty and were vacant and closed, and now there’s a resurgence. So to celebrate that there are these new shops and businesses that have come in, we all decided to get together.”

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A flier for the Shop Damen Holiday Open House event on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

Romo said the initiative was spearheaded by owners of iD, 2130 N. Damen Ave., to showcase new and legacy businesses along Damen. Virtu and iD have been open since 2001, while Romo opened her candle class and workshop this June.

The open house will feature special deals, gift-wrapping stations and more. Romo is giving away cookies and holding a raffle. Attendees can learn more about the event and register here for free.

Saturday’s open house comes on top of a nationwide push in recent years to support local businesses over big box and online retailers, such as Amazon.

Romo said supporting independent retailers and restaurants in Bucktown — and everywhere — is vital for the health of the larger city.

“When you shop local, you’re investing in your neighborhood. So when we have full storefronts, we’ve got more energy, more people walking around, more people moving into the neighborhood,” she said. “And unless we want to just have little ghost towns all around Chicago, this is the way to keep small businesses open.”

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