Bottle & Bottega Debuts in Downtown Highland Park: Help ‘Uncork’ a New Business

Bottle & Bottega Inks First Multi-Unit Deal with Existing Franchisee to Open New Highland Park Studio  

Chic and Sophisticated Art and Wine Studio Debuts in Highland Park

The wheels are off. Bottle & Bottega has parked itself permanently in Highland Park. The premier art and wine concept announced today the official opening of its new permanent studio location in Highland Park, conveniently located on Sheridan Road. The studio will serve as a hub for public and private painting parties as well as corporate partners seeking a unique and vibrant setting for their events.

“We’ve been running events throughout Highland Park the past few months and we’re so excited to finally have a home to host daily events,” said Chris Bonk, owner of Bottle & Bottega Highland Park and Bottle & Bottega Arlington Heights. “After witnessing how much fun people were having in my Arlington Heights studio, I knew that Highland Park was the perfect fit. I can’t wait to welcome our loyal fan base and new guests to join us in Highland Park and toast over a glass of wine.”

Highland Park residents and architecture aficionados are sure to recognize the new studio, located at 1894 Sheridan Road, for it’s historic Prairie Style architecture synonymous with famous Highland Park resident John Van Bergen. The building, which was constructed in 1926 and is the last standing example of Van Bergen’s commercial work, formerly served as a furrier for 90 years. The building was also featured in the movie Risky Business in the famous Porsche chase scene with Tom Cruise.

Bringing out the creative side in all of us regardless of skill or practice, Bottle & Bottega is one part artistic adventure and one part cocktail party. Through a blend of hands-on DIY art sessions, on-site professional instruction and, of course, a glass of wine, Bottle & Bottega helps guests create a masterpiece that they can be proud of taking home. Guests have the option to indulge in a variety of artistic mediums, including canvas, wood pallet, glassware, mosaics, Illumin-Art and various seasonal offerings. Whether enjoying a birthday, anniversary, mitzvah, bachelorette party, date night or just a girls’ night out, Bottle & Bottega offers a warm, chic and sophisticated DIY art studio where guests can relax, have fun and explore their creative sides.

The official ribbon cutting and grand opening after-hours party will take place on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30-9:00 p.m. There will be complimentary beverages & snacks, live music, a taste of their 10 different art forms, and a raffle for prizes helping the charity WomenHeart (The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease)! Check out the secret Fur Vault and enjoy plenty of lively conversation!

For more information about Bottle & Bottega Highland Park and to reserve your spot at an upcoming studio event, visit the studio’s website, check out studio’s online event calendar, call (224) 334-3248 or email [email protected].

The Language That Everyone Needs – theCoderSchool

According to an October 2017 CNN interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cook states “Creativity is the goal. Coding is just to allow that. Creativity is in the front seat; technology is in the back seat.  It is sort of the blend with both of these that you can do such powerful things now.” In addition he says: “It’s the language that everyone needs, and not just for the computer scientists.  It’s for all of us.”

Coming soon to Downtown Highland Park, theCoderSchool is the first coding school of its kind in the Midwest. The Brown and Kreindler families are excited to open their first school on North Shore. According to Justin Brown, “In the next five years, coding will be as essential as learning a foreign language. theCoderSchool appealed to us as a way to teach kids of all levels how to code, and be able to create a family business where not only our children, but the whole community could benefit.” Justin’s wife Robin goes on to say: “It takes a village to raise a child, and as a mom, we want to do all we can to prepare our children for the future. Coding is the future and that is why we’re so excited to bring this opportunity to our local community.”

There are multiple programs that will be offered for students at theCoderSchool. The first is the 2:1 Code Coaching, which uses an incredibly small student-teacher ratio to provide students with focused attention and customization.  The Code Coaching adapts organically over time to promote continuous learning and engagement. In addition, classes are offered for kids ages 6-10 with a 8:1 ratio, Code Camps, and a Premium Coaching option with a Coder Fair presentation every 3-4 months.

Chad and Karen Kreindler, the other half of the owner-team have experience in EdTech and with the Glencoe School District. Both look forward to bringing the value of personalized learning and customizable Code Coaching to Highland Park and the North Shore.

Learn more at:

theCoderSchool Highland Park


Art Awakening — A New Day at The Art Center of Highland Park

The Art Center’s Gala on May 4 manifests the theme “Art Awakening: Making Art Available to All.” Art has the power to do just that: awaken the mind, spirit and senses. What is even more exciting is that “art awakening” applies to the Art Center (TAC) itself. At the end of February, TAC announced the appointment of James Lynch as their new Executive Director.

A dream come true for Lynch, he brings 20 years of experience as an arts advocate. He has served on the Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission for seven years, and is a past Chair as well. James founded the Highland Park Cultural Arts Network and has significant experience in theater arts, having served as a producer, director, performer and teacher. In fact, he has taught “Acting for Non-Actors” at TAC in the past.

James describes the mood at TAC as a “New Day” — describing himself as the “Chief Possibility Officer” rather than as an Executive Director. James is excited to work with the team to create what he describes as a “center for collaboration,” a place where creativity and collaboration abound. Bringing his most recent experience as owner of an executive coaching and consulting practice for family-owned businesses, Lynch is bringing a business lens to TAC. While continuing the mission of providing education and appreciation of the contemporary visual arts, he is surveying what students want. James ensures that in-demand classes will remain and that new classes and live events are created. James is actively seeking partnerships with other non-profit organizations and local businesses as well. All are welcome to enjoy and participate!

One of James’ first official acts as Executive Director was to secure Janet Davies of ABC 7 as the Mistress of Ceremonies for TAC’s upcoming Gala. In addition, the Midwest Young Arts Conservatory will be performing at the event.  It is indeed a new day at TAC and we’re excited to see “Art Awakening” in Downtown Highland Park.

To learn about the the Art Center Gala, art classes and other events, please visit

Click here to purchase tickets for Art Awakening on Friday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.

A Highland Park Community Cheerleader





Ryan Newberry L’Heureux is a busy guy.  He’s been a cheerleader of Highland Park now for almost 10 years. Ryan is a real estate agent at the Highland Park @properties office, working with families across the North Shore. His positive reviews have garnered clients who utilize him time and again. Not only has Ryan had great relationships with his clients, but he has held positions on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of The Art Center.

Since day one, Ryan has been very involved in our community. Several years ago, Ryan was one of the key founders of the New Resident Fair, a source of information for residents new to Highland Park. Ryan has made it the focus of his business to be a partner, not only with local non-profit organizations, but also with businesses such as Beelow’s. He truly enjoys connecting people within the Highland Park community.

Adding even more to his full plate, Ryan helps his husband Brian with their Highland Park business, Lash L’Heureux Coterie. A glamorous space in Renaissance Place (right by Starbucks), Lash L’Heureux not only does eye-enhancing procedures for brows and lashes, but their on-site licensed aesthetician provides incredible facials, makeup application and massage. Rocking 5 star reviews on Yelp, Brian clearly has a loyal following!

Celebrating Highland Park and his clients, Ryan and @properties have partnered to offer an amazing promotion for those looking to buy a home. Buy a home with 3% down and they’ll kick in another 2%.

Contact Ryan here to learn more about the grant program and @properties:  Ryan Newberry L’Heureux



Soul2Sole presents “Winter Wonderland”!  Join in on art, yoga, music and tumbling classes.  All ages are welcome to try the free classes, with a new class starting every 20 minutes.    Be sure to wear your comfy clothes and bask in the joy of art, music and dance.  A great way to get a taste of something new, participants can try one or try them all!

Speaking of taste . . . this family friendly event will also host a complimentary Hot Chocolate Bar.   Sample warm chocolate deliciousness while your kiddo tumbles to his/her heart’s content or while Mom tries her hand at an art project.

The Winter Wonderland event is on Saturday, February 24th at 3 pm and concludes at 5 pm.  It’s the perfect time to have some fun before you grab a bite to eat.  Soul2Sole staff will be available to answer questions.  Stop by for fun, friends, and Hot Chocolate!!

Bringing Craft Beer to Highland Park

Executive Coach, Leadership and Management expert James M. Lynch of Highland Park, loves his job for the variety of people and industries he gets to assist. His clients include international corporations, local manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, interior designers, financial advisors, and now Chicago film and TV production company, Kinzie Street Studios.

The team at Kinzie is planning a TV show of their own, What’s on Tap TV, “a lively traveling variety show, serving up stories about the people who make beer and the people who serve beer for the people who drink beer. We celebrate the location and quirkiness of beer making and beer drinking.”

Brainstorming with Lynch, the Kinzie team decided that Beelow’s North Shore, with it’s 30 beers on tap and amazing indoor/outdoor bar is the perfect place to host a launch party for a show about beer! Beelow’s will be the launchpad for What’s on Tap‘s Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign.

On Tuesday, February 13, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., celebrity chef Chris Koetke, producers David Moravec and Mike ‘Torch’ Torchia will share stories about beer, talk about food pairing, and explore the ever growing beer craze that’s taking over America. Join in this fun conversation and enjoy specially-priced food and beer items, raffles, gifts, music and more.

Lynch, will of course be at Beelow’s for the festivities. He helps the team by keeping people on track with their commitments, but admits that the ‘research’ for a show about craft beer is a big plus.

What’s On Tap Kick-Off

Beelow’s North Shore

1850 Second Street

Tuesday, February 13th

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Posh Essentials offers monthly Tune Up Thursdays —events with fun collaborations, interesting products, and educational tips on a wide range of topics of interest for the modern woman.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, the topic of the upcoming Tune Up (February 1) is of course, “Love”!  Posh Essentials is known for their intricate lingerie, great beachwear and more.  At this event, women can treat themselves and treat their significant other.  Pamela Hillman, co-owner of Posh Essentials says: “February is a month dedicated to love, whether that be romantic or self-love!”

Come enjoy a fun evening of complimentary champagne, light bites, makeovers and bridal look books.  Featuring Jovanka Novakovic, the Chicago Tribune featured Boudoir Photographer, women can pair Posh’s lingerie that is perfect for them (enjoying a great event discount of course) and feel beautiful creating their own gorgeous portrait.  No matter your personal style, the Posh Essentials team will help you choose something that makes you feel fabulous.  Learn more and make your photography appointment on site to have a portrait in-hand by Valentine’s Day.

Cos Bar will be there to provide expert mini-makeovers, giving women makeup tips while using the top cosmetics brands.  Cos Bar’s make-up artists will help you create your perfect look.

Goodies will provide free samples of their most popular gift baskets, filled with chocolates, candies, and other gourmet delicacies.  If your happy place involves sweets, Goodies will have the treat that makes your heart go pitter-pat.

Simply Luxe Bridal, the newest bridal shop in Highland Park, will showcase a sample wedding dress, jewelry and headpieces along with goodie bags, look books and more for brides-to-be. This is a great opportunity for brides starting to get plans underway.

Lastly, additional fun will be had with Fortune Teller Tina Johns – find out your “love fortune” and know how great your Valentine’s Day will be.

Join Posh Essentials on Thursday, February 1, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at 658 Central Avenue.

For more information, call (847) 945-7674 or visit


Christine Davis is an artist – trained at the famous Art Institute of Chicago. She is a painter, textiles designer, and is well-versed in antique restoration.  However, a pivotal moment in her life led her from the art world to creative healing.  A devastating bicycle accident, where Christine was hit by a car, required a long, intense healing process.  During that journey, she met someone experienced in reflexology.  Intent on her own recovery, Christine researched reflexology and also studied gong fu, a Chinese martial art.

As she learned more, Christine began to start helping friends, using the techniques that she had researched and learned.  It was here that Christine found her passion.  She studied Chinese medicine theory and went to school for acupuncture.  Continually energized, she pursued a Master’s degree, studying in Beijing China for six months to focus on herbology.  While there, Christine realized how strongly integrated therapies are: herbal medicine and acupuncture are not “alternative” therapies – they are part of the integrated medical approach to the patient.

A Highland Park resident, Christine is now the Director of Acupuncture at Pulling Down the Moon.  PDTM utilizes strong therapy integration to help women with fertility issues, post-partum care, and other women’s issues.  Utilizing this cross-functional approach, women can improve egg quality, eliminate toxins, improve lactation, and support a successful pregnancy.

Christine loves the subtle art and science of acupuncture.  Each person is a unique individual, requiring a customized and intricate approach.  According to Christine, PDTM is women-owned, women-run, and a supportive environment where everyone looks out for each other.  It is the perfect place for Christine to maintain her creative approach to heal others.

Learn more about Pulling Down the Moon HERE.



We have new humans in Highland Park!  Sarah and TK Oates recently became the wife/husband team behind the BAR Method in Port Clinton Square.


As soon as Sarah could walk, she started to dance.  Loving fitness and dance, she dedicated herself to a professional dance career.  In 2001, she took her first BAR Method class in San Francisco.  She fell in love with the workout, and attended classes as her dance schedule allowed.

Following her return to the North Shore (Sarah is a Wilmette native), she met TK in 2006 – her dance rehearsals and his jiu Jitsu training coincidentally shared a water fountain.   Sarah was beyond thrilled when a BAR Method studio opened in Chicago just two years later.  She was able to join the BAR Method this time as a teacher and as a student.

Since that time, Sarah and TK have wanted to own a BAR Method studio.  Other studio deals fell through over the years but Sarah was destined to join us in Highland Park, where many North Shore residents take their health and well-being very seriously.  While TK works for the Chicago Fire Department and assists where he can (checking students in, handling social media, or taking classes), Sarah has loved the transition from teacher to teacher AND business owner.

Sarah said, “This is really a dream job for me!  I own a studio in a community filled with charming, lovely people.  I’m deeply invested in creating a happy, healthy, positive environment – one where our studio feels like a sanctuary – a place where you can get fit, be healthy, and detox your mind.”

According to a recent CNN article, finding movement that you love and is close to home is the secret to better fitness and wellness.  To encourage new visitors to the BAR Method, Sarah is offering the following new member special:

Through January 31st, you can get four weeks of classes for the price of two weeks – that’s only $37.50!

Check out the BAR Method here:  BAR Method


MLK Day recognizes the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday January 15th and honors his memory with a national day of service.  In fact, it is the only federal holiday with that designation.

Highland Park has created a community-wide day of service for residents and their families to benefit various local organizations that provide items and services to people in need.  Hosted again at the Recreation Center of Highland Park from 10 AM – 2 PM, not only does it provide multiple “teachable moments” for children and family fun, but it also helps parents avoid the dreaded “I’m booooooored!”.

In addition, the Moraine Township Food Pantry is hosting a “Stocking the Food Pantry Made Easy!” event on January 15th.  Easier than a restaurant drive-through (nobody there to get your order wrong!), you can drive up to the doors of the Recreation Center from 10 AM – 1 PM, and volunteers will collect your donations from your car!  Drive Thru Donations – the only way it would be easier is if they sent an UBER driver . . .

Joking aside, in our affluent community, people are sometimes surprised to learn that 8.  Some of our Seniors need help with food in order to make it to their next social security check.  You may have seen the recent comments of several Highland park residents after a heart-breaking post on our Facebook page on December 7th – it is a real need in our community and it is easy to help.

If you would like to help as a driver, transporting food between the Recreation Center and the Food Pantry, please email [email protected] if you can help!

Want to contribute, but not sure what to bring?  Food May NOT be expired, nor in a glass jar.  The most needed items are:

  • Olive oil
  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned tomatoes , whole or diced
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned chicken
  • Hamburger Helper or Sloppy Joe mix
  • Crackers – all kinds
  • Soup – all kinds
  • Cereal – all kinds
  • Oatmeal
  • Pinto beans, 1 lb bags
  • Applesauce
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate
  • Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise
  • Jelly, jam
  • Soap, shampoo
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies


We love to feature our favorite humans in our “Humans of Highland Park” blog.  Our shout-out this week features a pint-sized Highland Parker with a giant-sized heart.  Allie decided that she loved making bows and she liked helping others.  She (with assistance from her Mom) chose the Make A Wish Foundation to help other kids.  Allie started out walking around her neighborhood selling her adorable hand-made hair bows for Make A Wish.  Featuring multiple colors and multiple finishes, Allie’s bows are a bright bit of glam for any budding fashionista.

allie sprout kids


Then she decided she wanted to do something more!  Inspired by Allie’s determination, Sprout Kids asked Allie to offer a pop-up shop in their Central Avenue boutique.  Sprout Kids has always been incredibly supportive of local fundraising, whether for national organizations or local Highland Park initiatives.  Allie agreed, and Allie sold her bows at Sprout Kids and accepted additional donations for Make A Wish, last Saturday, December 9th.

The Make A Wish Foundation’s mission is: “We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”  Allie wanted to do what she could to help kids have their wishes come true.  As of this writing, Allie has raised over $500 so far and will deliver the funds to the Make A Wish Foundation at the end of the month.  She is still making bows and accepting orders to maximize the donation.

Cheers to Allie – a budding entrepreneur and already making a difference in her community!  Thank you to Sprout Kids as well, for giving Allie an opportunity to make a larger impact and for always stepping up to support our community.  We hope you will support Sprout Kids – it is one of our many local businesses that are part of the reason we love our Downtown, and we love Highland Park.

This Holiday season, Sprout Kids has free gift wrapping (to present the perfect gift!) and the City of Highland Park has free City lot parking so you can shop at your own pace.


Check out Sprout Kids here:


Learn more about the Make A Wish Foundation here:


A Downtown Highland Park Small Business Saturday Feature

Guest Blogger: Emily Schiller, The Style Du Jour

In this week’s post, we’re pleased to feature our second installment highlighting the variety of local Highland Park businesses you can check out for Small Business Saturday (November 25) and for the rest of the holiday season for all your gifting needs.

If you missed last week’s post, you can catch my review of the first six Highland Park shop previews here.

Vintage Bliss & Co. is known for their one-of-a-kind Charm Bar where you can create a custom piece of jewelry from a huge selection of unique charms. In addition to custom print charms, the owner, Nancy Gissendaner, will hunt down any charm you have in mind. Vintage Bliss & Co. carries a wide variety of one-of-a-kind jewelry, from edgy-glam to urban and on-trend looks, to family heirloom gifts made with antique China. Artisanal candles, U.S. made apparel, and a Glenview-based perfume, Saor, are just a few of the other unique gift items on display. Plan a girls night out at Vintage Bliss & Co. to make personalized gifts at the Charm Bar for yourself and everyone on your gift list!

Style Shack is the definition of #homedecorgoals. What began as a passion project between two friends more than fifteen years ago has evolved into a home décor and gift company with a delightful mix of vintage and new. Boasting everything from glassware to jewelry made by both International and local designers, the shop offers pieces from a mix of styles (from modern and boho-chic to vintage and traditional). Hot gift items include Karen Lazar Design sterling silver and gold filled bracelets (starting at $45), Land Down Under Italian-made wool throws and PurseN cosmetic bags.

Riche Organics is a labor of love company developed by a mother and daughter team. Riche Organics specializes in small-batch and handmade organic bath and body products made with a combination of natural and premium ingredients to ease the most sensitive of skin including eczema. Goat milk, raw Manuka honey, Argan oil, and salts from the Dead Sea are just a few of the ingredients used in their products to ensure the highest concentration of minerals and beneficial nutrients. Each handmade bath and body product looks like a work of art, making them a beautiful and unique gift choice for holiday party favors, teacher’s gifts and stocking stuffers. Plus, all of their products are cruelty-free!

Rock ‘n Rags is a family-owned business owned by Steve Kessler, a long-time Highland Park resident. With the help of his daughter, Kira, the store’s buyer, Rock ‘n Rags features apparel with an on-trend and edgy vibe, including sweaters, coats and of-the-moment jean styles, all for less than $100. While you shop for your closet, peruse their unique CD and vinyl collection, which is known to include rare and unusual music releases, or chat with Steve about his local band’s, Saturday June Band, latest gig.

Ami Ami, an upscale women’s boutique, features day to evening attire with a focus on luxurious fabrics, textures and rich colors. Ami Ami’s owner, Merrie Spade, lends her fashion-forward eye (with decades of experience dating back to the opening of her first store, Sauvage, in 1984) to feature up-and-coming designers in the store along with notable, high-end brands. Looking for a jean that not everyone else is wearing? Ami Ami is the destination to shop from the limited distribution Japanese jean, Moussy Jeans, available in boyfriend cut, straight leg and distressed.

Garfinkle’s Fine Jewelry has been a family jeweler in Highland Park since 1976 when the business started in the house of the owner, Jill Garfinkle. Garfinkle’s offers jewelry for all ages from baby gifts to Bat Mitzvah presents to engagement rings and anniversary pieces. You can also mark special occasions with the creation of one-of-a kind custom pieces. In addition to timeless fine jewelry, you’ll find a handsome collection of men’s watches and casual, on-trend jewelry selections. For those early holiday shoppers, take advantage of the 20% sale, storewide (excludes special orders) until November 23.

Love That Spice marries the culinary and healing powers of herbs and spices to offer premium and custom spice blends, in-house brewed beverages and healing shots. Every day, Love That Spice owner, Marlena Jayatilake, and her team prepare small-batch herb and spice combinations, made daily to ensure the highest potency of beneficial compounds and nutrients. Marlena brings her family ties from Sri Lanka, along with her vivacious energy, to educate clients on the healing powers and cooking opportunities with both familiar and unfamiliar herbs and spices during regularly scheduled cooking classes and on their food blog. Best-selling teas include those for anti-inflammation, immunity-boosting, circulation enhancing and overall wellness. Marlena’s specialty dried teas and spice blends make the perfect present for the tastemaker or wellness-focused person on your gift list (or as a wellness gift to yourself for the New Year!)