Made In Chicago: Chicagoland Toys And Hobbies

Rob Hart
June 01, 2020 - 6:04 pm
Hobby Shop Chicago

(WBBM NEWSRADIO/Rob Hart)

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Planes, trains, automobiles, ships, and rockets are all under one roof at one longtime northwest side hobby shop.

Chicagoland Toys and Hobbies has been a fixture on Northwest Highway in Chicago's Norwood Park neighborhood.

Gregory Bosak has owned the store since the mid-1970s, shortly after his father opened the hobby shop at its original location downtown in 1972.

"We were in the Subway Arcade," Bosak said, referring to a long-gone underground shopping plaza.

The store moved from downtown to Norwood Park in 1984. Since then, it has become nationally known for its selection of model trains.

The store is located just a few steps from the Norwood Park Metra station, and Bosak said the rumble of commuter trains adds ambiance for the people looking for all manner of model trains.

"They'll be standing in front of the store and hear the whistle or the horn and they'll go out in front and look at the trains that are running up and down the tracks," Bosak said.

Hobby Shop Chicago

A robust online business kept the store afloat during the Illinois stay-at-home order. He says people either decided to return to model-making, or decided to tackle model kits that had been gathering dust in a corner.

The store is among the last of its kind. Chicagoland Toys and Hobbies is one of just two hobby shops in the city limits of Chicago.

Bosak hopes to make it to the store's 50th anniversary in 2022. After that, he hopes to sell the store to the next generation of model-maker.

Chicago Hobby Shop