1733 W. Chicago, (312)226-0152, alcalas.com [ratings]
Goods: Boots, hats and Western garb for men, women and cowboys—and cowgirls-in-training. Designers: Boots are by Frye, Lucchese and Old Gringo; hats are by Stetson and Shady Brady. Owner: Luis Alcala founded the store in 1972. Luis’ son Richard and family now own it. Vibe: A lit-up, braying pony beckons shoppers to one of the largest retailers of Western wear this side of Texas. Inside, there’s a dizzying array of cowboy gear including everything from boots to lassos. Price Range: Moderate-Expensive. The Look: A beer-swigging, line-dancing, red-blooded American. Shopper’s Perks: The store offers free alterations and hat-shaping. They carry about eight thousand pair of boots.
UPDATED OCTOBER 2009