Winnetka, Wilmette Snag New Businesses in 2012

Shop local and support your neighborhood businesses in the New Trier Township. Here's a list of all the new stores that opened in 2012.

Although the economy hasn't quite bounced back to its glory days, business growth in the New Trier Township is , with multiple businsses moving to the area in 2012.

With the exception of Glencoe, the communities all have vacancy rates below the 9.5 percent average for the Chicago area. Many of the communities have vacancy rates more in line with the boom days of 2004 to 2007.

So, as a quick reminder, here are a few new businesses Patch has been following after they opened in 2012, including a few more slated to open soon. Have you checked them out yet? Click on the business' names and give them a review on Patch!

Also, which upcoming business are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments.

Located in Wilmette on Lake Avenue, this . Big Blue was originally founded by professional swimmers Chris DeJong and John Lonergan, and they're taking their techniques and breaking them down for younger swimmers.

But one of the main attractions continues to be the pool's temperature. The training pool’s water is set at 91 degrees and the air inside the building is a balmy 87 degrees.

The tapas-esque menu and building in Winnetka is a hangout for adults looking for a night out sans kids, owner Patrick O'Neil said. But the defining characteristic of Trifecta is its California-inspired wine sampling.

In addition to a dining room, the restaurant boasts a wine-tasting room where patrons can sample 28 climate-controlled wines from around the world in two to six ounce servings. The wine is housed in stainless steel and accessed through spouts.

This Wilmette Thai-sushi bistro located on Central Avenue for lunch a dinner. The eight-table, four-booth restaurant serves up Thai-spiced dishes to order, and with a spin on the traditiona sushi classics, the business is a fresh idea for the New Trier community.

The miniature cafe held its in late July and recently held its grand opening on Aug. 20. The Frech cafe, which is located inside the Winnetka Metra train station, owners say it's "almost like Winnetka’s best-kept secret to have a bit of France in the middle of the train station."

Located in Wilmette on Ridge Road,  opened its doors in 2012 and already has a on their Patch listing. However, Velosmith is not your typical retail shop. Business is mostly done by appointment and the shop primarily deals in custom bikes. In addition, beyond selling bikes, Velosmith works to promote biking culture in the area.

Cory, a Wilmette resident for 12 years, , a 2,000 square-foot-store on Green Bay Road in Hubbard Woods in September. Cory says the Scandinavian boutique will focus of women’s apparel and gifts.

“Scandinavian style fits all taste,” Cory added. “Scandinavians take centuries of practical use and application, and they use the finest materials. They do something in their simplest forms, and it becomes a thing of beauty. Women always want to look stylish and by investing in classic styles that last longer, Scandinavian style is perfect.”

Wilmette will soon add to its list of . Scheduled to open in early November, Walgreens is expected to take up half of the f location in  or about 15,000 square feet. 

On the east side of Wilmette, CVS is expected to open in March 2013 and occupy the 12,700-square-foot space  in  

Robert Bryan Home

Located on Green Bay Road in Winnetka,  is an extension of a home decorating business created by Robert Levine and Bryan Boomershine.

“It’s part furniture store, part home accessories, part interior design,” Levine said. “We have a different aesthetic than other stores in that we have a more eclectic urban feel. Even the store itself we have painted concrete stores. We do not have that traditional look.”

 fans seeking quality food at a lower price point can look forward to the opening of The Big Black Dog Tavern & Grill in Wilmette this fall.

Operated by Gilson’s co-owner Chuck Rometty, the family-friendly restaurant will take over  former location at 1141 Central Ave. Its menu will blend barbecue and upscale bar food paired with wine and a list of about 50 beers from around the world. While entrees at Gilson’s peak at $28.95, no dishes at The Big Black Dog will cost more than $19.99.


Located on Lincoln Avenue, Flee is a specialty botique featuring designer handbags. According to the store's website, "Flee is a boutique brand specializing in oilcloth products, and designed exclusively for busy women with "on the fly" lifestyles. The Flee product line utilizes oilcloth, most originally known for 1950's tablecloths, and features carry-alls such as handbags, totes, diaper bags, backpacks, laptop carriers, soft coolers & lunchboxes and table coverings."

Andy Ambrosius August 28, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Hey Richard, I called the chamber, and this is what they said about Once Upon a Bagel: “It’s opening in October. It’s coming slowly. It’s an amazing Jewish deli currntly in Highland Park. It’s just taking a long time. Be patient!” I'll plan to do a full business feature when they get closer to opening. :) Also, Sharon, thanks for the tip! I added Flee because this is the first I've heard about it, but I can't find anywhere online when Flee opened. Do you know, by chance? Thanks, both of you! Andy
Sharon Hunt August 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Hi Andy, Flee opened in late spring/early summer and is quite a unique shop! I believe the woman who owns Flee designs the styles, materials and gives a thoroughly modern take on a great functional material.
Andy Ambrosius August 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM
@Awesome, Sharon! Thanks for the update. I just emailed the owner asking a few more questions. I would love to do a business profile if she is interested. Keep your eyes peeled for that story. :)
Mark Anderson (Autofill) October 26, 2012 at 02:02 AM
What a dreadful place. I was so looking forwar to it. It's cheap looking; was served warm beer in a cracked glass; medium well burger (ordered medium rare); stone cold fries. I live 3 blocks away and will never go back
Mark Anderson (Autofill) October 26, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Forgot to mention I've been looking at my dirty plate for 15 mins now. One of the worst restaurants I've EVER been too


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