As holiday season revs up, pop-up boutiques settle in at University of Chicago storefronts

Staff Writer

A flurry of pop-up stores came to Hyde Park last week, and one more is on its way.

Humbolt Park vintage apparel retailer Meadowlark opened a Hyde Park pop-up store last Friday, followed the next day by Lincoln Square-based home goods seller Neighborly and Wicker Park clothing and accessories merchant Anastasia. Meadowlark, 1457 E. 53rd St.; Neighborly, 1506 E. 53rd St. and Anastasia, 1500 E. 53rd St., will be joined later this month by yet another a pop-up store from Ravenswood confectionery Amy’s Candy Bar.

All of the stores are leasing their spaces from the University of Chicago.

Amy’s Candy Bar, which specializes in hand-crafted chocolates and nostalgic candy, such as Pixy Stix and Laffy Taffy, will set up shop in the Hyde Park Shopping Center, 1546 E. 55th St., in the former location of Homemade Pizza.

Owner Amy Hansen opened her Ravenswood store in June 2011, after moving to Chicago from Minneapolis and studying for six months at The French Pastry School between two jobs. She was interested in opening a second store, she said, but didn’t yet have the money; then, last October, the U. of C. reached out about an opportunity in Hyde Park.

“So opening up a temporary pop up shop seemed like the perfect way to kind of get my feet wet,” Hansen said.

“Honestly, I had never spent much time in Hyde Park,” added Hansen, who trekked here last December to make a delivery to the University of Chicago. “And I went down there and kind of fell in love with it.”

Amy’s Candy Bar will have a soft opening this Friday, Nov. 14, followed by a grand opening next weekend. The pop-up will stay open through May, but Hansen said she “would definitely consider” a permanent store in the neighborhood if it’s successful.

Neigborly will remain in Hyde Park through Dec. 23 and Anastasia will stay until Christmas Eve. Meadowlark will leave on Jan. 9.