Sports apparel shop opens in Arlington Heights shopping center, and grocery store is next


A sports apparel and paraphernalia retailer — featuring a variety of professional and collegiate sports team gear — opened Friday in the Town & Country Shopping Center in Arlington Heights, helping fill a vacancy in one of the village’s major strip centers.

Rally House moved into the 6,000-square-foot space at 423 E. Palatine Road between Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golden Corral buffet.

The shop stocks jerseys, sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats and accessories from all the local sports teams — Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears and even the Packers.

There also is a wide assortment of collegiate wear, mostly from Big Ten schools and Loyola, and a Chicago-inspired merchandise section featuring city flag T-shirts and tchotchkes.

The store’s opening marks the Lenexa, Kansas-based chain’s fifth suburban location, with stores at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, The Arboretum of South Barrington, Randall Commons Shopping Mall in Geneva and Orland Square Mall in Orland Park. What started as a small group of stores in the Kansas City area in 1989 has expanded to more than 100 locations across a dozen states.

“There’s always going to be a demand for destination retail, and something with unique sports paraphernalia, especially something that blends pro and college is a nice addition,” said Michael Mertes, Arlington Heights’ business development manager.



Mertes noted the other recent addition to the Town & Country at Arlington Heights and Palatine roads: the much-anticipated Raising Cane’s fast food restaurant, which opened in January.

What’s probably even more eagerly awaited — if local social media group chatter is any indication — is the forthcoming mystery grocery store that will fill a 50,000-square-foot big box space in the shopping center.

The tenant has been long-rumored to be Amazon Fresh — the online retailer’s brick-and-mortar grocery store concept — and the new facade resembles that of other locations that have popped up across the suburbs in recent years, including in nearby Schaumburg.

But Arlington Heights village officials this week still declined to reveal the store name, citing confidentiality requested by the business.

The village board in December 2020 agreed to give shopping center owner Visconsi Cos. nearly $1.4 million in tax-increment financing dollars to help pay for renovations and site improvements that would bring the anonymous grocer and Raising Cane’s to town.

Charles Witherington-Perkins, the village’s director of planning and community development, said upgrades to the grocery store interior are ongoing, but have been delayed due to supply chain issues and getting materials and supplies needed for the build out.

Still, he said, the store is on track to open sometime this summer.



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