Nooks & Crannies: Spring Edition

Check out these unusual and inventive stores around our area.

Geneva Antique Market

227 S. Third St., Ste. 2, Geneva, (630) 208-1150,

If the quaint confines of this antique store could speak, they wouldn’t stop talking.

The market opened in 1990 and boasts a cooperative setup, with two rooms showcasing an eclectic array of collectibles and antiques from 18 local vendors. It’s located downstairs in The Berry House, an 1854 building that is now a bustling hub with 14 shops, restaurants and boutiques.

The antique store’s two rooms showcase a distinct array of vintage and antique goods, including vintage vinyl records like Kiss’ “Rock and Roll Over” and The Eagles’ “Greatest Hits,” and intricate jewelry such as diamond broaches and jade bracelets. Nostalgic toys like Tonka tractors sit beneath kitchen utensils from yesteryear.

The market also carries collections of holiday decor. Find hand-painted wooden sleighs and mid-century Christmas tree ornaments, Halloween items and Easter trinkets like ceramic bunnies and decorative wall art.

Tempting visitors in the hallways, there are two glass enclosures filled with all sorts of other surprises, such as a Mickey Mouse alarm clock radio, an Etch-A-Sketch, wooden blocks and even old books like “Hide Away Henry.”

Each vendor puts their personality on display, with each corner of the store revealing something new. Chances are you might find something that brought joy long ago – and still does today.

Hours: Tue.-Sun. noon to 5 p.m.

Tru Bleu Boutique

708 S. Northwest Hwy., Barrington, (224) 655-7913,

Jen McCloskey opened a boutique in 2010 when she returned to her hometown to share jewelry and fashion accessories with other Barrington women.

Her current store shows off an array of fashion-forward products, with everything from regional-themed tops and plaid button-down shirts to peacoats, waffle drawcord joggers and cozy turtleneck cable-knit sweaters.

There’s also a large selection of denim in styles including boot cut, wide leg and high rise from brands like Dear John Denim and Molly Bracken.

A curated assortment of accessories includes vegan leather crossbody handbags from Arlo, gold-plated zodiac medallion necklaces from Amano Studio and a variety of leather belts. Also find reading glasses from Peeperspecs and a clearance rack near the dressing rooms.

McCloskey frequently rotates her offerings and sources pieces nationwide with a promise of not compromising on style – just as you’d expect for someone who’s “true blue,” a term that suggests loyalty, faithfulness or genuineness.

Hours: Sat. & Mon. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Siren Records McHenry

3902 Main St., McHenry, (815) 347-8363,

Founded by Jen Linquist and her husband, Bill, this shop has evolved from a $500 investment in 2012 into an epicenter for music lovers, collectors and local musicians.

“I was a stay-at-home mom who needed adult interaction, so I had a little booth at the McHenry flea market where I was selling random things,” says Jen. “There was a booth that had nothing but albums and the owner was never open.”

When the Linquists offered to buy him out in 2012, a brand was born. They opened Siren Records the following year.

Today, the funky store sports a shingle roof inside its main room. Underneath the roof sits an array of vinyl records, from mainstream classics like Billy Idol’s double-sided “Rebel Yell” to limited editions like an opaque pearl set of Fiona Apple’s “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.”

The store also boasts a wide selection of cassette tapes, CDs and even 8-tracks.

The Hi-Fi room sports vintage stereo equipment, like power amps from brands including AudioSource and The Fisher. Nearby sit Panasonic DVD recorders, speakers, turntables and TEAC cassette deck CD players.

The Linquists frequently host local bands at the store for intimate concerts. Signed memorabilia adorns the walls, including mementos like used drum skins, skateboard decks and concert posters from bands including Teenage Bottle Rocket and The Lillingtons.

Hours: Sun.-Mon. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Wed.-Sat. to 6 p.m.