Logan Square is smelling extra sweet since Fleur re-opened its doors Tuesday, Oct. 14 at its new location at 2651 N. Milwaukee Ave. The flower shop had been briefly closed for nine days to make the move 0.2 miles northwest – five minutes, walking distance, away.
It was a rumor that jumpstarted the move from the original location on 3149 W. Logan Blvd. Fleur owner Kelly Marie Thomspon said two close sources informed her that her former landlord, Saul Osacky, had already offered her space to the leasers of Georgia Mae’s at Johnny’s Grill next door.
“There was not a date set, but [Osacky] also wanted to raise my rent $1,000 and would not give me a lease,” Thompson says. “In fact, he had been denying me a lease for a very long time.”
Osacky says he never gave Thompson any notification, written or oral, to move. He says he found out Fleur was relocating by a sign in the store’s window.
“She chose to move. She chose the date,” Osacky says. He also says there was no discussion about a $1,000 increase in rent.
Whatever the circumstance, the end result was nabbing a space with more than twice the square footage and a direct view of the Logan Theatre (@TheLoganTheatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee) through Fleur’s front windows. Thompson is more than pleased with her new circumstance.
“The new location is truly my dream space,” Thompson says. “I love the brick walls, all the natural light and the overall clean feeling. It’s everything I always dreamed of for Fleur.”
The announcement to move came through Twitter, Instagram, the Fleur blog and a chalkboard in the front window. Fleur enthusiasts could catch glimpses of the new space through Instagram under the hashtag #2651NMilwaukee as early as two months before it opened. Images journeyed from blank brick walls, an empty floor and brown papered windows to incoming new product lines, flowers and decorations.
Tristan Coulter, owner of Gaslight Coffee Roasters (@gaslight_coffee, 2385 N. Milwaukee Ave.), visited Fleur on its first day re-opened, which was “serendipitously” his wife’s birthday. He says the new location is perfect.
“I loved the charm and organized chaos of the old place, but the bigger, brighter space still has a ton of charm and is laid out and merchandised wonderfully,” Coulter says. “There’s a wonderful selection of gifts for male or female, lover or friend. Having some antiques thrown in really fits the aesthetic, too.”
Thompson says new items will be arriving in a staggered fashion, but the store has already started carrying new items from Juniper Ridge (@juniper_ridge), Red Raven Porcelain (@redravenshop) and Peggy Che Jewelry, to name just a few.
Not only has Fleur used the extra space for new items, but it has created two major functioning areas for business. The front half of the store is now designated for retail, including flowers, plants and gifts; the back half is reserved for wedding consultations, event design, a showroom for rental items and classes. The Fleur team is putting together a curriculum of classes for the public but there is no exact schedule yet. It will include classes on wreath making, halo design, basic floral design & more advanced classes for those who inquire about internships. Those will include bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpiece design.
“I’m just so happy to be able to offer more to the neighborhood,” Thompson says. “I didn’t realize it at the time, be we had outgrown our old space. It was time for something fresh. We are rebranding, we are growing. I’m excited to show everyone what we have in store.”
Jenna Collier from the Greenwood neighborhood journeyed to Logan Square to partake in Fleur’s first week re-opened.
“This is my favorite store in the entire world, and I told my boyfriend ‘we’re going here tonight,’” she says, though she pointed out her boyfriend probably buys more things at Fleur than her. Collier and her boyfriend walked away with a bundle of fresh, orange flowers that night.
Despite all the changes, Thompson says Fleur’s overall happiness and love for Logan Square will always remain the same.
“Myself and my incredible team and so happy and grateful for everyone’s concern and support. Customers helped us move boxes, people gave us hugs … This neighborhood is so wonderful,” Thompson says. “We’re going to miss our direct neighbors, [but] we’re a skip away and look forward to more community events … And of course, Shop Kitty is still here & happier than ever, always in search of more friends!”