The Little Popcorn Store
111 ¼ W. Front St., Wheaton
In the days of big box stores and chain restaurants, it
sometimes can be a relief to find a place that's been unchanged by
modern conveniences. Such is the case at The Little Popcorn Store
(just called The Popcorn Shop by locals), which has been serving up
freshly popped, butter-free popcorn and candy since 1921.
You might never notice the tiny store, literally sandwiched
between two other shops in a former alley, save for the bright red
awning where generations have stopped for an afternoon-or morning,
Entering the store, you feel like you've stepped back in time.
The smell is classic movie theater (minus the fake butter) and the
size of the shop alone-it used to be called the In-Between
Shop-makes it feel like a relic.
Adults easily can stretch out their arms and touch both walls at
the same time. Of course, the narrowness of the store means you're
guaranteed at least a short wait, since only one customer can be
served at a time.
White paper bags can be filled with candies that cost as little
as five cents each, and range from classic treats to contemporary
favorites. I personally like the option of creating a mix of
individual gummy candies for less than $1.
The main attraction, the popcorn, ranges from $1.75 for a small
bag (enough to share) to $4.50 for a large, making it an
inexpensive, healthy snack. And on nice days, the fountain across
the street is a great spot to munch your treats. Or on Saturday
mornings, take your snack across the railroad tracks to stroll
through the French Market with your family.
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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