This month—with so many eyes on St. Patrick’s Day, the dyeing of the Chicago River and the festive parade down Columbus Drive—Dream Town Supports Small is focusing on all things Irish! From boutiques to pubs and bakeries, here are some small, locally owned businesses where you can sample a bit of the Emerald Isle.
March is also Women’s History Month, so we invite you to join us in supporting Chicago’s women-owned small businesses. Just look for the “Women-Owned Business” tag.
Murray’s Irish Outfitters | Woman-Owned Business
murraysirishoutfitters.com | 3021 Butterfield Rd, #102, Oak Brook
West suburban resident Kathleen Murray and her husband promise a complete Emerald Isle shopping experience. Here at their boutique in the upscale Oak Brook Promenade, you’ll find a tantalizing collection of Irish jewelry, gifts for the home and garden, and clothing for men, women and children – including, of course, wool sweaters imported directly from Ireland.
Clarke’s Bakery & Deli
clarkesbakeryanddeli.com | 455 W Northwest Hwy, Barrington
Newly arrived from Ireland at the age of 18, Matthew Clarke had the good fortune to train under noted pastry chef Philippe Laurier. In the 1980s, Matthew moved to the Chicago area and opened his own bakery. Today, he and his daughters and their staff continue to delight patrons with traditional favorites including a full Irish breakfast. A variety of fresh-made pies, breads, cakes, sandwiches, muffins and pastries are also offered.
Celtic Knot Public House | Woman-Owned Business
celticknotpub.com | 626 Church St, Evanston
Liz Breslin and her husband Patrick have recreated all the charm and warmth of the small town pubs of Patrick’s native County Down. Complementing their wonderful selection of traditional tavern fare, imported and craft beers, wine, spirits and whiskey galore is a regular offering of weekly entertainment including live music and storytelling.
The Corned Beef Factory
cornedbeeffactory.com | 1016 W Lake St, Chicago
Using the finest quality corned beef prepared and spiced in their factory just a few doors down, this landmark West Loop eatery slices their signature cuts of Corned Beef and Pastrami daily. Served up on fresh, small-batch rye bread, it’s a winning combination – whether you choose their signature sandwich or the Reuben. Italian Beef, Grilled Cheese and a Turkey Reuben are among their other offerings.
Celtica Gifts | Woman-Owned Business
celticagifts.com | 1940 W Montrose Ave, Chicago
This inviting boutique is well-stocked with an array of wonderful items from the Emerald Isle. Exquisite Galway crystal, Belleek fine china, unique Celtic jewelry and Aran sweaters are complemented by a tempting variety of Irish foods from chips and teas to sweets, candies and preserves. Be sure to ask about their fine Winston meat products including Irish-style bacon and Bangers!
Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro | Woman-Owned Business
irishbistro.com | 3905 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
Since 2005, Beth Murphy and her two sons Brian and James have been serving up scratch-made Irish pub favorites—complemented by a thoughtful assortment of craft beers, a friendly wine list, and more than 40 different Irish whiskeys. Be sure to check out the massive, hand-crafted teak bar that Beth imported from County Wexford. There’s also an on-site grocery shop that specializes in Irish and British goodies.
The Irish Shop | Woman-Owned Business
theirishshop-online.com | 100 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park
Owner Anne August and her husband specialize in nothing less than the best that Ireland has to offer! Colorful sweaters, apparel for all ages, beautiful jewelry and gifts for the home are complemented by savory treats and sweets from the Emerald Isle.
brehonpub.com | 731 N Wells St, Chicago
Deriving its name from the ancient Irish legal system known as Brehon Law, this River North establishment was founded appropriately by two Irish-American brothers practicing law in Chicago. A neighborhood favorite for over 40 years, patrons come for the lively atmosphere, drinks and an extensive menu that includes traditional pub favorites along with salads, seafood, wraps, sandwiches and 8 tempting varieties of Mac & Cheese!
Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
peggykinnanes.com | 8 N Vail Ave, Arlington Heights
You can’t beat the authentic charm of this suburban icon—with the interior consisting mainly of original Irish stone from County Clare and the bars themselves shipped directly from Ireland. Along with the ambiance, you’ll enjoy an extensive whiskey list and a vast menu including signature dishes like their Fish N’ Chips, Shepherds’ Pie, Corned Beef Colcannon, and an all-day Irish Breakfast.
Chicago Distilling Company | Woman-Owned Business
chicagodistilling.com | 2359 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
You don’t have to cross the Atlantic to Ireland to find, taste and buy fine single malt whiskeys! This family-operated craft distillery and tasting room in Logan Square found its inspiration in the form of moonshining ancestors in the backwoods of Wisconsin. Today, they offer award-winning spirits and unique cocktails both made-to-order and canned.
Gaelic Imports | Woman-Owned Business
gaelicimportschicago.com | 6346 W Gunnison St, Chicago
This is your one-stop-shop for anything Irish—with a large selection of crystal, china, books, music, clothing, jewelry and Official Guinness Merchandise! It’s also one of the largest Irish grocery stores and bakeries in the Midwest offering a variety of foods and freshly-made items from soda bread and oat cakes to meat pies and sausage rolls. Plus they stock everything you need to prepare a traditional Irish breakfast at home!