Chicago treated us well. They call this the windy city for some reason; the wind blows through the high buildings full of offices, apartments and restaurants. A vibrant city where we have visited the Housewares Fair but more importantly our partner Dylan Kendall; the designer of our Dylan Kendall Pet & Lifestyle bowls.
After a bumpy flight from LA, we checked in to our hotel in cold & windy downtown Chicago; a perfect location from which we have everything in walking distance. Very friendly and welcoming staff checked the both of us in to a 6-person room; the biggest room we will have during this USA trip.
We decided to walk to the fair where we will meet the Owner Dylan Kendall and the COO Meth Bandara. A 45 minute walk though the city that feels to us like a mix of London and New York; a very pleasant business like feel. By coincidence we crossed the pet store "Kriser's Natural Pet" and the coffee place "The Spoke & Bird - South Loop"
A chainstore with (at the moment of writing this blog) 42 locations, yet is feels like a family-run store with very welcoming staff. They call their staff Pack Members and all items in this store are Kriser's Approved; meaning natural and good for your animal in some way. 1103 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
A small coffee place which also offers handmade snacks. Locally produced treats; perfect for a small stop on our way to the fair. Try the Cheese-Bressane; it is truly delicious. 205 E 18th St, Chicago, IL 60616
After a short walk we arrived at the fair, a big building with multiple halls. Some of which are 15 minutes walk apart.
The first thing we noticed is the giagantic scope of this fair. After entering, it took us around 30 minutes to walk to the registration, hang our coats and go to the main entrance. A wide variety of amongst others cleaning products, kettles, silverware, ceramics and water bottles is being offered here. We visit this fair primairily to see the booth presented by Dylan Kendall. We had to proceed with a small search, as the fair was out of floorplans, and after a short stroll over the fair we arrived at the colourfull and bright booth where she presented together with Meth Bandara and Solomein Bolour (investor) her entire product range. Not only can you find the ceramic Pet Bowl here, she also offers more products like bamboo childrens-sets(see photo), nylon ribstop shoppers and our latest addition to the the Mr.Tails assortment; the bamboo-pet bowl (can be ordered with us soon, we will keep you informed).
Dylan, Meth & Soleiman took us out for a lovely Thai dinner at one of the first Thai restaurants in Chicago. This restaurant has won the Best Thai Restaurant award in 2015. Our favourites were the Pad-Thai & Fresh spring Rolls with tofu. A casual yet cozy place with a big menu and many vegetarian options. 1906 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
Our next day in Chicago, we have visited a selection of Pet-Stores; our general observation of the pet stores here compared with Los Angeles, is that they are a lot less "personal"; the staff is greating you but is not as interested in "how your day has been" & "what type of dog we own". Nevertheless, the shops here feature the dog-bakery and extensive collection of bandanas which make the dog feel like a human-part of the family again. Below the shops we have visited:
Small but luxurious store focussing on the smaller dogs. Wide range of dog-cookies/bakery as well as any type of dress, skirt, jacket or bandana you can imagine for your small 4-legged animal. 1 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
A small store with very friendly staff and a big range of different types of food. We loved the snack-wagon in which you can combine your own bag of dog-treats and snacks. 509 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654
Relatively small store but with a big offer. Wide range of stuffed animal toys as well as a big bakery-section; both ready made cookies as well as bake it your own. 932 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60607
Medium sized store offering a wide range of bandana's & collars/leashes. 1137 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
Big chain store with very wide offer of pet-products. Ranging from fish to cats & dogs. 440 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610
Mainly focussed on grooming, with a small section of animal foods & toys. 316 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
Off course there is a lot more to do in Chicago then only the pet supply stores, therefore a small selection from the food & drinks places we have visited:
Right up a small stairs you can find this hungarian restaurant which now also offers lunch. Conveniently located close to the city centre on walking distance from the big shopping area. Also nice for a drink after dinner as it has an extensive offer. 11 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
An urban rooftop bar on the 3rd floor. This might not feel like "high" for chicago standards, but in our opinion it makes you feel like you are still part of the vibrant life happening on the ground floor. In summer time, you can sit outside here as well. Around 17:00 hrs it becomes very busy for after-work drinks. Nice detail; they offer wine "from draft" here, perfect to combine with a bowl of Edamame Beans as a nice salty snack. 1 West Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
A perfect place for lunch. Very nicely decorated laid back urban feel with a lot of students. You can choose your own salad, toast or sandwhich and add additional toppings if you like. Also great for an afternoon sweet like raw chocolate or a little less healthy but delicious pastry. 33 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60603