"Our core customer is in their mid-20s, recently out of school, who are working,” he said. And a good number of those customers live in Hyde Park and currently drive to the North Side to shop at other Akiras."
53rd Street continues to fill in and, for the first time in as long as many of us can remember, with a clothing store. That's a significant diversification of the neighborhood's retail landscape.Akira, a rapidly expanding Chicago-based clothing boutique, will open its 19th location, I've learned, in a vacated Border's bookstore in Hyde Park this fall.
(An 18th store—and the first outside of Illinois—will open next month in Merrillville's Westfield Southlake Mall. Read more about the chain, which was started a decade ago by three University of Illinois grads, here.)
The 8,000-square-foot Hyde Park store at 1539 E. 53rd St. will become the flagship location for Akira, which also has stores in Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Andersonville, Water Tower Place, Block 37 and three suburban malls.
Hyde Park “is a good market in that it's under-served and has a captive audience,” Akira co-owner Eric Hsueh told me.