The Promenade Bolingbrook sounds like you’re entering a gated community dotted with massive homes with ornate fountains in their front lawns.
Instead of McMansions, The Promenade is comprised of various shops and restaurants to form an outdoor mall area in this suburban village sitting southwest of Chicago.
There’s the typical mall fare with Bath & Body Works and Champs Sports cozying up to anchor stores like Barnes & Noble and Macy’s. Among the usual retail suspects are a handful of locally-owned shops including Controlled Chaos Vintage, Vinyl & Variety.
Controlled Chaos owner Josh Zolvinski told me during a recent visit that he started collecting and selling records while still in high school.
Opening his own store seemed inevitable, but it needed to be more than just stacks of vinyl. Zolvinski wanted to offer items for people who weren’t into collecting records, but shared his affinity for nostalgia.
Controlled Chaos opened this past May. While the location is among the smaller storefronts in The Promenade Bolingbrook, it is packed with a variety of items that will transport you to another decade.
Vintage, Vinyl and Variety
At the center of Controlled Chaos are bins full albums on vinyl. Most are older titles with a small selection of new releases.
There’s a nice variety across several genres reflecting Zolvinski’s own varied taste in music.
To give shoppers a hint of the what can be found among the vinyl on hand, Controlled Chaos offers a handy “hidden gems” board highlighting notable titles for $10 or less. The featured selections when I was in the store included everything from new wave to rockabilly.
I found myself welcoming any help I could get navigating what was available in the store. It’s the type of place where you need to look high and low a couple of times to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Think you’ve seen all of the music for sale after looking in the record bins? You might want to check the draws of packed with cassette tapes hiding beneath the vinyl.
Besides music and movies from decades past, Controlled Chaos also has a small selection of clothing that could be described as “vintage.”
A Christmas-themed Looney Tunes shirt can be seen in the front window. Sports jerseys along with a Chicago Blackhawks jacket can be found in another corner of the store.
I love seeing the sports stuff get a second life as someone has owned his fair share of jerseys donning player names that have long since left their teams.
If collecting vinyl isn’t your thing (hey, thanks for still checking out this website), movies bore you and you prefer new clothing over vintage pieces, Controlled Chaos has one more trick up its sleeve that might get you in the door.
Retro video game systems are hooked up and ready for shoppers to play in store. For a $5 fee, you can get 30 minutes of game time on an Nintendo GameCube or other gaming consoles from the past.
Controlled Chaos Vintage, Vinyl & Variety can be found at 639 East Boughton Road, Unit 145, in Bolingbrook, Illinois. While the store if fairly small for a location that is try to appeal to so many tastes, they do a fine job of rotating inventory.
Keep an eye on the Controlled Chaos social media accounts to see the latest new vinyl and clothing items that are out on display.