A Michigan-based furniture giant has expanded into Chicagoland and has made Logan Square its first home within the city proper. Art Van Furniture (@ArtVanFurniture) hosted a party on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6 pm – 9 pm to celebrate the opening of its newest location at 2606 N. Elston Ave.
At the opening, attendees were treated to decadent small plates, desserts and cocktails and were encouraged to explore the first and second floors of the 20,000 foot space. Special guests Susanna Negovan, editor and publisher of Splash, a Sun-Times publication; Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine; and Chandra Ram, editor of Plate Magazine, showed off room vignettes they styled themselves.
Later in the evening, Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts played a lively set, causing a bit of frenzy as excited audience members danced, sang along and extended their phones into the air, frantically trying to snap photos and capture video of Belushi and his band.
History of Art Van
Art Van Elslander opened a 4,000-square-foot furniture store in Detroit in 1959 and soon after began opening stores all around the metro-Detroit area. The company is now the largest furniture retailer in the Midwest. Despite that, Art Van is only now making the leap into the Chicago market.
“I envisioned coming to Chicago for a long, long time,” Van Elslander told a crowd at the opening. He says he met with Governor Pat Quinn in April and announced that the company intended to take Chicago by storm.
Besides the Logan Square location, four more stores have opened or are slated to open soon in the Chicagoland area, with locations in Orland Park, Batavia, Bedford Park, and Merrillville, Indiana. A distribution center also has recently opened in Bolingbrook. The company is planning for a total of 18 stores in the Chicagoland area in the future, along with 15 smaller Art Van PureSleep mattress stores.
“Merrillville?” Belushi joked between songs at the opening. “Finally, they’re going to get a couch in that town?”
Art Van in Logan Square
Art Van’s Logan Square store is located in a former Wickes Furniture space. According to Diane Charles, director of corporate communications at Art Van, the building was the perfect fit for their company, which she says caters to the communities in which they’re located. For example, Art Van stores in urban areas tend to carry smaller, more chic furniture items that are ideal for city apartments, while suburban stores might carry larger and more family-friendly pieces.
Charles says the store will carry everything from high-end pieces to more budget-friendly finds, which customers can find in Art Van’s Clearance Center.
But how will the tight-knit Logan Square community react to another big name retailer moving into the neighborhood? Charles says she expects the family-owned and operated company to fit in well, especially in a shopping area that sees a lot of traffic.
“It’s a really vibrant, robust area and we knew we wanted to be a part of it,” she says.
In addition to adding more furniture options to the mix, the company has also added 600 new jobs in the city and surrounding suburbs. There are still a number of open positions, and interested jobseekers are encouraged to apply.
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