Sunday, August 2, 2015

DCB Chicago is on FLEEK

When I planned out my Chicago trip, I didn't think that a stop at Dylan's Candy Bar was necessary.  I live in NYC and I've seen the flagship store multiple times so I figured the Chicago location would just be a smaller version of New York.  So I didn't go.  Instead, I took an hour long cab ride to the airport, ran to my gate to SWITCH to an earlier flight, boarded the plane, got on the runway, was delayed on the runway, taken back to the airport to deplane, delayed at the gate some more, and then my flight was canceled.  Naturally all of the remaining evening flights back to NYC were fully booked, so I was looking at a flight home the next day.  The candy gods had spoken, I was meant to spend another night in Chicago to check out Dylan's Candy Bar.
When I finally got back into the city and walked into the store, I got a nice slap in the face to shake me out of my bad airport-mood: a colorful, large, organized, fun, candyland filled with everything imaginable.  Listen, (read?) I love Dylan's New York flagship store and will continue to love it, but the Chicago location was an appropriately midwestern version.  The store was slightly calmer, slightly easier to navigate, my fellow patrons were slightly politer, and the staff was super cheerful.  Man, sometimes I really miss living in the midwest...but don't let this description fool you, this store was on FLEEK.  First, in case there is any confusion upon entrance that you're about to have a good time, they put a very inviting bar immediately to the right of the entrance.  This bar looked so inviting that it almost lured me away from my research...
...but like a trained pro, I avoided the distraction and stuck to my mission.  There was too much glorious, colorful candy to be discovered.  And this store had everything.  A chocolate section, a retro section, a healthy section, an international section, a fudge counter, an entire stand of different flavored lollipops, an entire wall of licorice, another entire wall of sour gummies (that I had to wait patiently to photograph for you because who doesn't love a WALL of sour gummies???) and on and on...

licorice!

sour gummies!
For those of you who have seen the NYC store, you might be thinking "ok so what? New York has that too" but the layout of the Chicago store made it very easy to navigate so I never felt overwhelmed by the huge choice of candy or flustered by the massive crowd (the polite patrons made a big difference too).  Here's a shot from upstairs:

The feeling around the store was one of fun and excitement and that vibe was from the adults.  How can you not get excited when you see as much of your favorite candy as you can buy?  And c'mon, don't act like you're too cool for candy, everyone has a favorite.  I'm sure you've been in a situation where someone was like "oh no, I don't eat candy" and then 10 minutes later they're reaching for a handful of whatever everyone else has been eating.  Candy fomo.  So anyway, as I was admiring their wall of color and thinking of moments in my life that could really call for color coordinated candy (a party...a sit down dinner...work...brunch...watching TV...) I noticed a candy that I hadn't seen before, mango Mike and Ike's!  Like WHERE did they find these?  Were they created just for Dylan's?  Who taste tests all of these candies?  Do they need help???  As I was contemplating, this girl walked up next to me and said to her friend "mango Mike and Ike's?!  Is this a thing??"  Ummm girl it is now...

So I guess my extra night in Chicago paid off after all.  Don't be like me and try to blow off Dylan's Candy Bar the next time you're in Chicago.  Instead, head to their N. Michigan Ave. location and taste the mango Mike and Ike's.  Otherwise, the candy gods might cancel your flight and teach you a lesson.  www.dylanscandybar.com 

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