SOUTHPORT CORRIDOR — Whether it's an emoji-adorned pajamas or a glittering party dress, the newly opened Frankie's Southport has what every pre-teen has been begging you for.
Just a block south of Blaine Elementary School, Frankie's, 3708 N. Southport Ave., offers a perfect combination of comfortable and cool, co-owner Rae Lisenby said.
"We tried to make it a special place where they can come and feel comfortable. They don't want to shop at the baby stores anymore, and there are a lot of 12-year-olds who cannot wear kids clothes anymore," she said.
Lisenby has managed the Frankie's in Lincoln Park since it opened in 2008. Five years later, Frankie's opened a store in Santa Monica, Calif.
The front half of Frankie's Southport has adult women's clothing, which Lisenby said is "aspirational" for the pre-teen girls as they graduate from the kids section. Trendy brands like Free People and Wild Fox are front and center — cozy fall sweaters and flannel among the top items for the fall season. That includes one-piece pajamas, also known as adult onesies.
"Kids want a little funk. Not every girl wants to wear pink, so whenever we have options for things, we choose green, we choose turquoise. Everything isn't so girly and conservative," she said.
While the store opened Sept. 1, a grand opening celebration Saturday will include free Coalfire pizza and Candyality custom cotton candy. Frankie's will have goodie bags and a photo booth for customers to enjoy.
"I'm really noticing how everyone wants to work together. I live here and I know a lot of the business owners, and you walk in and they say, 'Yeah, we want to help,'" Lisenby said.
That neighborhood feel is a big part of why Lisenby and fellow co-owner Lisa Burik chose the location. Despite ending up on the pricey Southport Corridor — home to national brands like Gap, Anthropologie and Francesca's — Lisenby said the rent north of Addison Street was more than "reasonable."
"I try to shop on this street whenever I can — I don't want to have to go into my car and drive anywhere," Lisenby said. "People support the neighborhood businesses."
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