5 Chicago Father’s Day gifts for your aging hipster

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 5-year-old daughter, Viva, who is saving up to buy Daddy that unicycle he wanted.

As much as my dad friends and I complain about the unwinnable war that is Mother’s Day (too many women to whom you owe too much, too little time and money), one has to figure Father’s Day isn’t any easier to navigate for wives and daughters. Do any dads want anything for Father’s Day? (I’ve been trying to build one Lego Pac-Man ghost for six months. I haven’t the time nor the energy to want or receive things.) Fathers are largely inscrutable creatures who spend many hours a day staring Delphically into the abyss. They rarely relate anything they’d like to own, assuming they already own a copy of “Tombstone.”

If you live in city, though, there’s a good chance you’re married to some kind of “cool dad” who falls into the occasionally derided category of “aging hipster.” If your husband fits the bill of a greying, vaguely alternative, craft geek and culture vulture, there are some go-to concepts you could plumb for some quality gifts. Below are some suggestions related to commonly held facets of a safely quirky middle-aged metropolitan dad life for you to exploit.

Beard care

All the cool dads are hirsute these days. A beard is fashionable, masculine and lets their chin make up for what the top of their skulls are rapidly jettisoning. Want a local source for tonics, oils, trimmers, shirts and assorted accoutrements for the old cookie duster? Check out Windy City Beard Co. here! No beard? No problem! Check out their custom leather Dopp Kit. Perfect gift for pretty much any dude.


The dad in your life probably either loves whiskey, wants to love whiskey or loves whiskey too much and gave it up. (If that’s the case, get the Dopp Kit above instead.) There’s no shortage of fantastic firewater in this town. My go to is always Ravenswood’s Koval Distillery. He’s not a whiskey man? Go for their gin. He’s not a gin man? Forget him.

Ravenswood, 5121 N Ravenswood Ave


Maybe he needs a new one, or maybe the old one needs a little tszuj. Perhaps he’s got an ex’s name or some sort of vaguely “tribal” ink that could be retrofitted into something less … tool-ish?  Why not give him the gift of pain by expanding upon or improving his permanent reminder of a temporary aesthetic. Head to the Tattoo Factory on North Broadway and you can even wash down your regret at the “Drink ‘n Ink” next door!

Uptown, 4441 North Broadway


If he’s already into records, there’s plenty to buy him. If he isn’t into records, GET him into records, and then you’ll always know what to buy him in the future!

Most folks start at Reckless Records in Wicker Park, although there are Lake View and Loop locations as well to grab that new Mountain Goats release or the Flying Luttenbachers re-release he’s been jonesing for.

Wicker Park, 1379 N Milwaukee Avenue

Bicycle stuff

Hipsters love bicycles, right? I mean, sure, this is a busy city and he’ll probably get doored and not be around to raise the children, but think of what a small carbon footprint he’ll have left. (Where there was no set of footprints, I let you ride on my pegs.)

There’s a place in town to get genuine completely Chicago-made bikes, and that’s Heritage Bicycles. Oh, and did I mention it’s a killer coffee shop, too? Dad wants coffee. They’ve also got bike related equipment, gear and apparel in both their Lake View General Store and outposts on Wilson and on Lawrence.

Lake View, 2959 N. Lincoln Avenue

There you have it. Great gift ideas for the guy who lives deliberately and refuses to go gentle into that good night. If you’re not married to a hipster, I don’t know, get your husband a barbecue thingie or a W flag or a Civil War chess set or whatever the normcore set is into (Just drive around Naperville until you find something.). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go turn my compost.

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