The Best of Flea and Fantastic Finds at Chicago's Vintage Garage

Located, literally, in a huge garage in Uptown, this show has it all: rare records for vinyl collectors, unusual and antique furniture, all shapes and styles of clothing, kicking jewelry, and the coolest vendors (and organizers) in the Midwest.
Fantastic Finds at  Vintage Garage in Uptown, Chicago

Fantastic Finds at Vintage Garage in Uptown, Chicago

The days of collecting cookie jars are over, says Sands. People, especially the Millennials, "are finding things that are usable, wearable, decorative. That’s what’s hot."

Photo by: Vintage5051

Vintage5051

Related To:

If you’re a dedicated flea market shopper (and if you’re not, believe it when we tell you that you’re missing out), add this new show to your rummage haunts. Vintage Garage Chicago is the brainchild of Melissa Sands, a former super seller on eBay and co-owner of Vintage Promotions, the outfit that produces the show. She made the leap from virtual, where she sold everything from promo cars to jewelry, to running location shows — a crazy idea, she says. “Nobody’s starting any new shows right now. Other people, other shows, are dying. We’re insane.” 

But she couldn’t resist. Sands, a Chicago transplant via Detroit, got her feet wet running a few vintage shows with a buddy in Dallas before heading to the Midwest. When she found this “amazing, empty parking garage in a really cool up-and-coming neighborhood on the north end of the city,” it was the perfect slot for a stable, recurring venue. Why not fill it up with vintage and get buyers and sellers out and make it a happening space? She pitched the idea to the garage owner, commercial real estate businessman Al Klairmont, and got support from Alderman Harry Osterman in the 48th, who bicycled through the ward for a vintage-style ride, their very first show. 

It was a gamble that worked: Take a look the cool Flickr stream of flea shoppers posing and grinning with deals in hand. 

Fantastic Bargains at Chicago's Vintage Garage in Uptown

Fantastic Bargains at Chicago's Vintage Garage in Uptown

The Vintage Garage show in Uptown attracts about 75 to 100 vendors every month, says promoter Melissa Sands. And crowds. "Our biggest show this year was 2,200 people for the day."

Photo by: Vintage5051

Vintage5051

One recent show blended two subcultures: rockabilly and tiki. Think 1950s, poodle skirts, plunging necklines, glassware with hula girls and Mai Tai mugs. “There are people that live it. They dress it. Their houses are decorated in it. You know — they all have tiki bars in their basements," says Sands. "And we find that our customer base is really hip and cool like that.”

You have more chances to sift: Check their website for upcoming events. Want more? There are monthly flash sales on the company's Facebook page. "It's a great way to integrate our Facebook fans into the experience and give them a preview of what is coming each month," Sands told us.

Vintage Garage, located at 5051 N. Broadway, between Foster and Argyle. Admission $5. Bookmark and bring a big bag.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Profile: Detroit, Michigan

Learn more about Motor City's history and what drives its economy today.

Cincinnati Essentials

Here are the Ohio city's best spots to eat, drink, shop, play and more.

Local Life and Lore in Minneapolis

Here, get all the insider info on the local lingo and traditions.

Coyle & Herr: Chicago's First Consignment Warehouse Cutting Deals on Designer Decor

The outlet is helmed by two Chicago insiders with an eye for design and an elegant spin on the home furnishings resale market.

5 Great Neighborhoods in St. Louis

Find the St. Louis neighborhood where you can make yourself at home with this guide.

Local Life and Lore in St. Louis

Get to know the ins and outs of Saint Louis, MO with these insider tips on lingo, location and things you should know.

St. Louis Essentials

Here's where to go to get and do, well, pretty much anything in St. Louis! Restaurants, bars, shopping, and more....

Indianapolis: Like No Place Else

From fast cars to football, here are the things that make Indianapolis unique.

St. Louis: Like No Place Else

Check out all the standout spots that tourists and locals love in St. Louis.

Kansas City: Sports Central

Resident fans are passionate about their NFL, MLB, minor league, collegiate and youth teams, as well as NASCAR events.

On TV

6am | 5c
6:30am | 5:30c
7am | 6c
7:30am | 6:30c
8am | 7c
8:30am | 7:30c

Big Time RV

9am | 8c

Big Time RV

9:30am | 8:30c

Big Time RV

10am | 9c

Big Time RV

10:30am | 9:30c

Big Time RV

11am | 10c

Big Time RV

11:30am | 10:30c

Big Time RV

12pm | 11c

Big Time RV

12:30pm | 11:30c

Big Time RV

1pm | 12c

Big Time RV

1:30pm | 12:30c

Big Time RV

2pm | 1c

Big Time RV

2:30pm | 1:30c

Big Time RV

3pm | 2c

Big Time RV

3:30pm | 2:30c

Big Time RV

4pm | 3c

Big Time RV

4:30pm | 3:30c

Big Time RV

5pm | 4c

Big Time RV

5:30pm | 4:30c

Going RV

6pm | 5c

Going RV

6:30pm | 5:30c

Going RV

7pm | 6c

Going RV

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Going RV

8pm | 7c

Going RV

8:30pm | 7:30c

Going RV

9pm | 8c

Going RV

9:30pm | 8:30c

Going RV

10pm | 9c

Going RV

10:30pm | 9:30c

Going RV

11pm | 10c

Going RV

11:30pm | 10:30c

Going RV

12am | 11c

Going RV

12:30am | 11:30c

Going RV

1am | 12c

Going RV

1:30am | 12:30c

Going RV

2am | 1c

Going RV

2:30am | 1:30c

Going RV

3am | 2c

Going RV

3:30am | 2:30c

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.