There’s a tiny store on Dempster Street called . It only opens for a fraction of the year, then closes while the owners collect more clothing, jewelry and accessories for the next season.
The sign in the window, which previously stated Open April 2, now reads Open April 9. Surely, devotees of the shop can be heard uttering phrases like, “Aw, seriously?”, “Just a few more days,” and “It’s always worth the wait.”
There’s just something charming, unusual and impressive about businesses that set their own unique hours yet maintain strong customer followings. Evanston’s got quite a few of them, including Edzo’s Burger Shop. Hmmm ... both business names end with the word "shop." Coincidence?
These days, consumers around the country can walk into more and more grocery stores guaranteed to be open until midnight or later. More fast food drive-thru lanes promise to stay Open Late! Chain bookstores (at least the ones still in business) tend to keep the lights on till 9 p.m. or later. Can’t get away from work to see the doctor or dentist? No problem – book an appointment at 7 a.m. or after 6 – extended hours give you more flexibility. Instead of walking to the video rental store, just order your favorite movie now through your cable box or online. In fact, just open your web browser … every “store” there is open 24/7.
When’s the last time you saw a handwritten sign on a shopkeeper’s door that read, “Back In Five.” If you did see a sign like that, admit it: how frustrated were you? Did you think (or shout) something like, “Who closes in the middle of the day? Who do they think they are? Their posted hours are right here!”
These days, with seemingly unlimited access to everything, it’s startling (and refreshing) to see businesses buck the trend and set unconventional, limited hours.
I’ll admit: I was planning to poke my head into before our family’s spring break trip to -- of all places -- Mexico. Browsing around The Mexican Shop when it first opens is the Evanston shopper’s equivalent of baseball’s opening day. Whether it’s for a cute pair of earrings, a scarf, a cute set of cheater glasses … it’s a declaration of spring’s welcome arrival. This year, however, I’ll be gone when the shop opens, so my visit will have to wait. And that’s okay.
As I write this article I'm sitting at O’Hare Airport with my family, waiting to board our flight to Mexico. I refuse to pay for access to the airport’s wi-fi system. Despite the fact we have a) my laptop, b) my husband’s work-issued iPad, c) my teenage son’s freakish knowledge of technology and d) a world wide web that never closes, I’ll (ironically) file this post about limited access once I figure out how to use the free wi-fi at the house we’re renting in Mexico.
How’s that for patience?