It’s common for antique stores to have boatloads of kitchen-, glassware, and furniture. Lost Eras has plenty of this to go around, but by no means is it your typical antique store. To start, it’s also a costume and prop store, and we’re not talking plastic Halloween masks. As you browse, think skinny thoughts, it’s packed tight floor to ceiling, including tons of stain glass windows hanging from the ceiling. Around the checkout counter/massive jewelry case, you’ll likely catch a wild display of mustaches or Victorian gauntlets. Head to the west half of the store — it’s a costume oasis. There is every kind of hat, cape, coat, gown, whip, sword, shield, viking horn, even mascot suites.
My favorite discovery here is downstairs. Wander the costume area until you find a staircase. Watch your head (I’m only 5’4″ and had to duck). There’s about 1500 square feet of anything you can imagine-vintage typewriters, clocks, radios, TVs, cameras, skis, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, lanterns and lighting, vintage clothing, everything. I could come here for the rest of my life and still have more to look at. Chicago has a pretty strong theater scene, and Lost Eras is a set designers paradise.
It’s on the far north border of Chicago, literally the last stop on the Red line (Howard). No matter where you’re staying, it’s worth the trip. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s like a free visit to a museum of everything!