You can find all sorts of things at The Alley!
The Alley is a part punk shop, part lingerie and sex toy store located in Lakeview. You can find a number of fine leather and vegan leather jackets, unique oddity knick-knacks, and a variety of sex toys and lingerie. It’s a unique shop, to say the least!
The Alley is known for its leather motorcycle jackets, jewelry, and fun t-shirt collection. Their jackets are durable, fashionable pieces ranging from $120-350. Each jacket comes with a lifetime warranty, not that you’ll need it; their jackets are designed to be motorcyle-ready and tough against the elements. The Alley also has a great selection of punk and goth jewelry like skull rings, pendants, piercings and more. It’s the perfect place to pick up a new leather jacket or patches and buttons to adorn your existing threads.
The beloved store has been serving the punk community in Chicago for over 40 years at various different locations in Chicago. They created a legendary hub for counter culture at Belmont and Clark back in the day. At one point The Alley was a coffee shop, tattoo parlor, and retail store, but over the years has had to scale down to just retail. While the company has struggled to survive over the past few years with multiple closings and reopenings, it seems to have finally found its footing again. In April 2019, owner Mark Thomas decided to combine The Alley and his other business, a sex shop called Taboo Tabou, into one location.
The Taboo Tabou section of the store is a small but not unreasonably sized collection of sex-related products. While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for sex toys (you’re better off going to a dedicated sex shop) it has a good collection of lingerie, leather, and bondage gear and attire. Unfortunately, this section of the store is closing (again). If you want to check Taboo Tabou out before it disappears, there is a sale going on Jan 11-12 for 60-80% vibes, dildos, and lube, two for $10 t-shirts, and 50 cent panties.
While the business hasn’t always had smooth sailing, it’s customers are loyal, devoted fans. They keep coming back for more regardless of what kind of shape the company takes. Don’t let the rocky road this store has taken fool you; it’s a prime spot for counter-culture attire. If you’re in the market for a new leather jacket, boots, or a sexy gift, The Alley is the one-stop punk shop for you.
Mon – Fri 12 – 8 p.m.
Sat: 12 – 9 p.m.
Sun: 12 – 7 p.m.
843 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Nearest CTA: Belmont Red, Brown and Purple line.
Feature photo: @josiepacemusic