We’ve tallied the votes in the Shopping category from our Best of Barrington survey and are excited to share the list of Barrington’s top shops, according to our readers.
As with all of our survey categories so far, the votes were close in this one. And that’s why we’re sharing all of the shops that received votes, to offer a list of places for you to check out or revisit during your next Barrington shopping spree…
Best Shopping Center:
The area shopping center receiving the most recommendations in this category, with 45% of the votes cast, is Deer Park Town Center. Deer Park offers an exciting mix of 70 upscale retailers and restaurants and also features the Century 16 Deer Park movie theater. Popular shops at Deer Park town Center include the Apple Store, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn, JCrew, Ann Taylor, Williams Sonoma and Aveda Salon for spa and styling services. The center also hosts great events throughout the year, including the new Sub-Rosa dinner club, Summer Sidewalk Sale, Jazz Patio, Art Festival and Santa Visits. Click HERE to read our review of Deer Park Town Center or visit their website at ShopDeerParkTownCenter.com.
Also receiving many votes in this category are the Arboretum of South Barrington, Ice House Mall, the Foundry of Barrington, Cook Street Plaza and even Acacia Organics, a single store downtown specializing in toxin-free household and personal care products.
Best Art Gallery: Tina Han Gallery & Custom Framing
The business receiving the most votes in this category, with 67% of the recommendations we received, is Tina Han Gallery and Custom Framing in Barrington’s Ice House Mall. With years of custom framing experience, Tina is a seasoned local expert when it comes to choosing colors and materials to frame your favorite pieces. Her gallery offers an original selection of limited edition prints and paintings including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels and drawings created by established and emerging artists from around the world. She also features an impressive list of artists based right here in Barrington and has special showings of new and upcoming artists who are making a name for themselves.
Best Book Store: Barnes & Noble
The best local book store, according to 41% of our readers, is Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Deer Park Town Center. Did you know that Barnes & Noble sells 300-million books per year online and in their stores? After a quick visit to the company’s website, I also learned that Barnes & Noble Cafés serve about 60 million beverages, 6 million cookies and scones and 3 million sandwiches annually and they’re the second-largest retailer of magazines in America. Nice to know we have one right in our own back yard! They also regularly host “Storytime in the Children’s Department” at Barnes & Noble and you can Click HERE to find and follow their upcoming schedule of events at Deer Park Town Center.
Local favorite, Dear Books and Gifts came in a close second, with 35% of our readers choosing this Barrington book nook as their top choice in this category. And we also received quite a few votes for our own Barrington Area Library plus one vote for iTunes as the best place to shop for a book in Barrington.
Best Gift Shop: G. Whiz & Angelina
In the best gift shop category, we have a TIE! G. Whiz and Angelina share the top spot for the best place to pick up a great gift for someone special. Owner Jan Cunningham opened G. Whiz at the Foundry of Barrington in 1993. They’re known for stocking the store with unique and unusual gifts that are as fun to give as they are to get. At G. Whiz, you’ll find a huge selection of designer jewelry, fashion accessories, handbags and home decor. One of the hottest sellers at G. Whiz continues to be their Pandora Beads, which is why Jan also opened a Pandora store at Deer Park Town Center in 2011. You’ll find G. Whiz in the Foundry at 724 W. Northwest Highway or online at ShopGWhiz.com.
The second Barrington gift shop that took the stop spot in our survey is Angelina, right on the corner of Cook at Station Streets in downtown Barrington.
Owner Katie Kuempel has an eye for eclectic jewelry, handbags, artwork and home accents. She offers a smart selection of clever and artistic cards for every occasion plus a variety of sentimental gifts like hand-stamped, vintage silverware, ceramics and wall art decorated with fitting quotes for any relationship. She also features a selection of sweet baby gifts and the perfumed candles and lotions from the Lollia line she carries smell amazing. But Katie says one of the hottest sellers at Angelina are their Lily & Laura beaded stacking bracelets which come in literally every color. Click HERE to browse Angelina’s newest merchandise on Facebook or check out their selection online at ShopAngelina.com.
Also receiving top votes in this category are TT Patton Fine Stationery on Station and Acacia Organics, which is right across the street along with Vintage Faire on Hough Street, Estate Jewelers on Main Street and Acquisitions for the Home at The Arboretum of South Barrington. The Barrington Home Shoppe also received many votes in this category, which really makes us miss this popular Ice House Mall destination for fine tableware since it closed its doors earlier this year.
Best Jeweler: M.J. Miller Jewelers
M.J. Miller & Co. has been in business in Barrington for nearly 45 years and they took the top spot, receiving over 45% of our readers’ recommendations in this category.
Owner, Mike Miller’s passion for gems and precious jewels dates back to when he was 7-years-old and working in his father’s drug & jewelry store in rural North Dakota. Mike later earned his degree in Pharmacy and worked as a Pharmacist in Barrington’s old Esh Pharmacy while selling jewelry in the back of the store. Today, M.J. Miller & Co. Jewelers is one of the largest privately owned jewelry retail organizations in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs specializing in engagement rings, custom designs, fine white and colored diamonds, precious gemstone jewelry, designer brands, luxury timepieces from Switzerland, crystal, sterling silver flatware, porcelain china, stemware and home fragrances.
Also receiving many votes in this category are Long & Company Jewelers and Estate Jewelers, Ltd. on Main Street, the Ice House Mall’s Once in a Blue Moon, Azar Jewelers at The Arboretum of South Barrington, Dalzell & Co. in Crystal Lake and jewelry designer, Issac Kornhauser.
Best Resale: Vanity Share & Hands of Hope
We had another tie in the Best Resale category of our survey with Vanity Share Resale and Hands of Hope in Barrington both sharing 33% of the recommendations received. Vanity Share Resale at 128 E. Main Street is a great way to shop in Barrington if you love brands like JCrew, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, but prefer more moderate prices. Store owner, Laura Howard, has a passion for giving new life to great pieces by selling them in her store at a major discount. Most items she carries cost under $20. She also has an eye for putting together new looks with the tops, skirts, slacks, dresses, shoes and accessories that make their way to the displays in her store.
If you have items you’d like to sell on consignment, Laura can help you there, too. For more details, visit VanityShareResale.com.
House of Hope shares the top spot for the Barrington resale store most recommended by our readers. House of Hope offers six huge rooms of furniture, antiques, collectibles, clothing, décor, housewares, art, toys, books, jewelry and more. They also feature new arrivals every week and welcome all tax-deductible donations with great appreciation. House of Hope Resale was founded in 2001 to support the Project Hope Ministry at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Barrington. Project Hope’s mission is to provide short-term, emergency assistance to area families in crisis. You’ll find House of Hope Resale in the Market Center Shops, 200 N. Hough Street in Barrington and you’ll find them online at HOHResale.org.
Coming up next week, we’ll share the results in our next category called Clothing, which includes votes for Best Store for Children’s Clothing, Best Store for Men’s Clothing, Best Store for Women’s Clothing and Best Store for Shoes.
Then, watch for the results in our category called The Best Eats followed by categories titled Sweet Treats, For the Home & Garden, Barrington Services, Health and Beauty and Neighborhoods.
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Congratulations to all of our winners in the Shopping category and please stay tuned for round two next week as we continue to reveal our readers’ picks for the very Best of Barrington.
In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below if you have any other recommendations about your favorite places to shop in Barrington.