New vintage shopping event comes to Evanston


Natalie Chun/The Daily Northwestern

Vintage Garage Chicago at 1800 Maple St. The shop moved this year from Uptown Chicago to Evanston.

Natalie Chun, Reporter

Hundreds of people and around 70 vendors flooded the fifth floor of a downtown Evanston parking garage Sunday for Vintage Garage Chicago’s season-opening show.

Since 2012, Vintage Garage Chicago has served as a pop-up event that hosts to hundreds of vendors, looking to sell their vintage goods including clothing, jewelry, furniture, paintings, books and vinyl records. Originally located in Uptown Chicago, the event was moved to Evanston after the group lost their lease in the city. The first of three shows this summer, the event attracted people of all ages.

“We are very welcome to be here,” said Bobbi Kreger, an employee of Vintage Garage Chicago. “We love Evanston and the crowd’s amazing… Evanston is a destination town so tourists can come (to Vintage Garage Chicago) and then do other things as well.”

Though the setting of a parking garage is unexpected and greatly contrasts the bright colors of the vintage clothing, Kreger said it provides a convenient experience for vendors and shoppers.

Felicia Gibbs, a vendor who sold items at Vintage Garage Chicago’s old location, said the new location in Evanston wasn’t getting quite as much traffic as the previous location.

“I’ve seen it a lot busier,” Gibbs said. “But, I think people just need to find us here. It’s a new neighborhood, which is good.”

Molly Price, a customer who has attended Vintage Garage Chicago’s shows in the previous location followed the pop-up event to Evanston. Within 15 minutes of being at the pop-up event, she said she already purchased items from multiple booths.

She said vintage shopping is her favorite kind of shopping. However, she said events like this are hard to find in Evanston.

“I love the vintage effect,” Price said. “You just get unique things that you wouldn’t really find at boutiques or anything like that.”

Hillary Szewczyk, one of the vendors at Vintage Garage Chicago, sold bluetooth phonograph speakers and industrial architectural salvage at her booth. She said she started selling vintage items after she found a lot of old things around her house and noticed friends requesting custom orders.

Since then, she said she has been selling her vintage items at various flea markets for the past four years but has found Vintage Garage Chicago to be special.

“It’s really great as a seller, and we enjoy being here,” Szewczyk said. “The amount of people and the diversity that it brings… and the community of vendors have been great to meet and hang out with.”

Similar to Szewczyk, Martha Ruhl also appreciated seeing the community come together. As a clothing vendor who often acts as a buyer at functions like this one, she said she enjoys watching people in the neighborhood spending time together while shopping, especially vintage shopping because of its unique experience.

She also praised the event for its diversity and the opportunity to meet new people.

“You get all kinds of people here,” Ruhl said. “Young, old, preppy, edgy. Me.”

Vintage Garage Chicago will have two other shows coming up this season in Evanston on July 21 and Sept. 15.

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