New businesses find footing in Hinsdale

Antique shop, barber and martial arts studio add to the village's economic diversity

In a follow-up to story that ran in the Nov. 9 issue, here are three more businesses that have opened their doors in Hinsdale recently.

Step back into a subterranean gallery of treasures from yesteryear at Antiques Hinsdale Underground, 5 W. Second St.

Descend the stairs into a hallway lined with an assortment of items from a cigar store Indian to throwback movie posters to various sports memorabilia.

Owner Eric Jungnickel said he typically goes out in the field to obtain the vintage merchandise.

"I'm a true picker. Nothing's on consignment," Jungnickel said.

The longtime St. Louis Cardinals fan still has the ticket stub from his first game in 1974. His canine companion Gibby is named for Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson.

"I've been collecting literally my whole life," he said. "The antiques are unusual, unique and they're not what you'd find at a typical antique shop."

Music albums from generations ago are played to ensure they're not damaged, Jungnickel assured, and he endeavors to stock a lot of locally relevant items.

The most valuable dimension of the business for him, however, are the stories he gets to exchange with patrons.

"The best thing is meeting people, by far," he said. "That's what pleases me, when somebody finds something and really has a use for it, and meeting the people and the different generations when they come in, and hearing what they collect."

Perhaps he has just what someone's looking for to give a loved one this holiday season.

"You could be the favorite gift giver for that person," Jungnickel quipped.

Fade Incorporated Barber Shop

Barber instructor Nieves Almaraz wanted to provided a place where students at his Cicero barber school could get real world training.

That was among the primary reasons he opened Fade Incorporated Barber Shop at 250 E. Ogden Ave. this fall.

"I was looking for location for students who are graduating from the school. I took a look around the area and really liked the area," Almaraz said.

He was also motivated by a passion to give customers a top-rate cut, complete with a hot lather neck shave and hot towel treatment.

"We do it the old school way, and we also offer the new styles," he said. "From what I've been seeing so far with the clients that have been coming, it's almost like they've been looking for that service."

Almaraz is gratified when he sees a dad bring in his young son for his first authentic barber experience.

"The dads are more excited about the hot foam because it brings them back to their childhood," he said.

Almaraz, who was named Men's Hairstylist of the Year in 2021 at the North American Hairstyling Awards, said he looks forward to getting more involved in the Hinsdale community. He hopes residents of all ages will check out his shop.

"I've been in the business for 20 years now, and the barbers are all getting trained very well to be licensed professionals," he said.

Premier Martial Arts

Kevin McElroy said Hinsdale met his criteria for launching his Premier Martial Arts franchise in the summer of 2022.

"Knowing that there's a whole lot of young folks in this area, everything just checked the right boxes for us," he said of the studio he opened at Gateway Square, 777 N. York Road.

The fact that his in-laws live in neighboring Western Springs didn't hurt, either. His choice was quickly validated.

"The community responded to us almost immediately. We had 150 members, ages 3 to 60," McElroy said.

The studio offers classes for students of all ages that combine styles of karate, taekwondo, krav maga and kickboxing. But their target market is youth.

"We have an adult class. We have a teen class. But our bread and butter is our 5- to 12-year-olds," he said.

McElroy credits "dynamite" instruction for students sticking with the training from white belt all the way to black, for many.

"It helps with kids' self-confidence at a time when social media and screens are affecting them," he said. "It helps with childhood obesity. Even kids that don't go all the way to black belt, I think their at least getting foundational skills in here to exercise and understand it's important to eat healthy."

Clearly the ancient fitness method has stood the test of time,

"We're teaching how to enhance their lives through martial arts," he said.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean