Alisa Hauser
Dec 5, 2017 · 3 min read
Pens at Topdrawer. [Pipeline/Alisa Hauser]

WICKER PARK — A store specializing in notebooks, pens and photo albums — plus an array of other things such as sunglasses, Bento boxes and travel pillows— opened this past Friday.

The Wicker Park Topdrawer, which took over the former Pitaya boutique at 1463 N. Milwaukee Ave., is the Japan-based brand’s fourth in the United States, following two stores in San Francisco and one in Boston.

When asked why Wicker Park was selected for Topdrawer’s first Midwest loaction, spokeswoman Mairead Kelly said the company was attracted to the neighborhood’s “lively atmosphere and community of creative professionals.”

“We want to be part of the neighborhoods our customers call home,” Kelly said.

Some holiday gift ideas suggested by Kelly include the Takenaka Bento Box for eating on the go and eliminating the need for disposable materials like bags and foil, as well as Merippa, a modern take on the traditional Japanese house shoes. The slippers are machine-washable, reversible and can be easily rolled up for packing.

“As creative professionals, our office has to fit in a bag. In the course of one day, we might be working on a plane, a train, a cafe, and a park bench before ending up at our office or studio. With this in mind, we look to tools that streamline work and living, and of course, keep us inspired. Our products are centered around travel, photography, eating, and creative work, with a focus on quality and sustainability. We operate under the tagline, “Tools for Nomads™” Kelly said in an email statement.

The store also sells nonprescripton Izipizi sunglasses and the Ajoto SpunTextured Fine Pen, which Kelly describes as “the James Bond of writing utensils.”

Topdrawer, 1463 N. Milwaukee Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. — 7 p.m. daily. Ph: 773–360–8412. Visit Topdrawer’s Facebook page for updates.

Merippa phouse slippers made in Japan. [All photos by Alisa Hauser]
Photo albums and boxes.
Bento boxes for storing lunch.
Travel pillows and accessories.


Neighborhood news from former DNAinfo and Chicagoist reporters

Alisa Hauser

Written by

Former Block Club Chicago, DNAinfo reporter and Chicago Pipeline publisher. Current Portlander.


Neighborhood news from former DNAinfo and Chicagoist reporters

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade