Area merchants offer unique shopping, gift opportunities
November 30, 2017

Fasan Florist offers beautiful flower arrangements for your table or for holiday entertaining.

By Dolly Duplantier

This holiday season, whether you need gifts, something for the home, goods and services for yourself, or pampering for a loved one, area merchants are ready to meet your every need. Stay right in the community and obtain what you need from the following fine merchants.


Fasan Florist, 1600 W. 35th St., (773) 523-8564,,, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weddingwire.

Since 1924, this family-owned and operated floral shop has served the Chicagoland area with beautiful flower arrangements, blooming and green plants, and gifts. From a single stem in a bud vase to a combination of designs, let Fasan Florist complement your holiday decor with its beautiful arrangements.

The shop also carries a variety of gifts, including fruit baskets, plush animals, and balloons. Fasan Florist provides timely delivery for any occasion including Christmas, love and romance, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and sympathy/funerals.

Fasan Florist also maintains a reward program. For every dollar spent, customers receive a reward point that can be redeemed for a discount on future orders. To register for the reward program or for more information, log on to the website. Hours: Mon. through Fri. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sun. 9 a.m. to noon.


Blue City Cycles, 3201 S. Halsted St. (312) 225-3780,,, Facebook, Instagram.

Since 2009, Blue City Cycles has offered new bikes, components, accessories, and servicing of bikes. Co-owned by Owen Lloyd and Clare Knipper, Blue City follows the motto, “Come bring us your broken stuff.” Blue City’s staff of professional mechanics diagnoses problems and repairs all types of bikes. The full service shop provides steel frame fabrication and frame repair service, as well as S&S coupling installation from some local builders. They also offer powder coating services for bikes and metal components.

Special orders are available. Estimates for repair services are complimentary. In addition to used and refurbished bikes, Blue City Cycle carries new Masi, Schwinn, GT, Haro, Linus, Surly, All City, and Soma bikes. An extensive range of components and accessories is also available.

Take advantage of Blue City’s holiday special. From now until Sunday, Dec. 24, Blue City Cycles is offering 15% off new in-stock bikes. Hours: Mon. through Thurs. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. noon to 5 p.m.

Photo by Christopher Valentino
Blue City Cycles has great stocking stuffers and new and refurbished bikes.


Second Chance Thrift, 1674 W. Ogden Ave., (312) 924-9643,, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Second Chance Thrift is affiliated with ReVive Center for Housing and Healing. Store proceeds help restore hope and prevent homelessness for over 6,000 people each year. The store offers an extensive selection of gently used items at reasonable prices, including a variety of brand name clothing, winter apparel, and shoes for women and men. Check off your gift list or find something special to complete your home décor for the holidays during the store’s 12 Days of Christmas Sale, Wed., Dec. 13, through Sun., Dec. 24; there is a new sale every day.

Explore Second Chance’s full line of options such as china, crystal bowls, silver servings, tablecloths and runners, linens, kitchen accessories, dining room furniture, and much more. The store also carries coffee cups, framed artwork, albums, computers, books, and toys. Take advantage of “Half-price Tuesdays” – customers receive 50% off all men and women’s clothing (excludes outerwear). Hours: Tues. through Fri. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Swap O Rama, 4200 S. Ashland Ave., (708) 344-7300,

Swap-O-Rama, “the granddaddy of all flea markets” opened in 1992, at 41st Street and Ashland Ave. During the peak season in the summer, this indoor/outdoor flea market sees over 20,000 people come through on a given weekend.

The oldest flea market in Chicago, Swap O Rama is known as “The First Name in Flea Markets” not only for its longevity, but also for its good reputation and steadfast belief in free market enterprise. It’s the best place to find a hidden treasure. With hundreds of vendors selling thousands of different products, you can find unique gifts at an affordable price. The list of items is endless.

While shopping, make sure to stop by Snak O Rama for great food at great prices. Try their famous elotes, Maxwell Street Polish, and Eisenburg hot dogs. Their extensive menu also includes churros, tacos, pizza, hamburgers, sopes, and tortas.

Want to be a vendor? Anyone can sell. No reservation is needed. Just bring your own tables and pay as you enter. See the website for pricing information.

Swap-O-Rama has two additional locations in Melrose Park and Alsip. Visit the website to sign up to for news about special events and discounts. Free parking.

Ashland Hours: Ashland Hours: Thurs. (outdoors only) 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.