From portraits made out of video cassettes to a variety of gourmet treats, you can find almost anything at Andersonville Galleria, a retail market building that is home to over 90 different tenants.
Located in the heart of Andersonville at 5247 N. Clark St., the galleria first opened in November 2007. It is the perfect place to stop by and see why the neighborhood is known for showing its support for independent retailers, especially since the business makes it a point to hire people who live in the Andersonville area.
“It’s not like a specialized store where you can only get shoes for instance [and] we have a lot of things to offer,” associate Lee Holohan said. “We try not to get anybody who’s out of town, we try to support really local people.”
Andersonville Galleria continues to show signs of growth today. What initially started as a one-floor building is now completely full with two floors, two mezzanines and a wide variety of merchants, artists and artisans who handcraft their work.
Some of the vendors such as photographer Denise Riesen and fashion designer Brenda Dubov have been with Andersonville Galleria since the very beginning. Others such as Urban Prairie Design just recently moved in, according to assistant manager Angelique Bolin.
“There’s fantastic and local talent and we’re here for them,” Bolin said. “We’re here to help you find something for yourself or for somebody you love and there’s a lot to choose from.”
It’s easy to lose track of time inside Andersonville Galleria with so many potential gifts to choose from, which Holohan said often leaves people coming back for more. She said that Andersonville’s support for independent businesses provides a strong sense of community.
“It’s kind of like walking into ‘Cheers,’ the bar. Everybody knows your name,” she said. “You can walk in and people notice you and you’re acknowledged and it’s comfortable.”