From the stocked shelves to the novelty spaceman in the shop window, Cowboys and Astronauts is a men's supply store that celebrates life by supporting authentic individualism, everyday adventure, and meaningful connections to the people and places around us.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Christopher Blatner Contributing writer
At some point in most young boys’ lives, they dream about flying on a spacecraft into the cosmos or corralling wild horses on the western frontier, looking up to rocketeers and wranglers as the heroes of their imaginations. The Andersonville boutique, Cowboys & Astronauts, helmed by Greg Lanier and Matthew Buccilla, takes those boyhood fantasies and turns them into an expertly curated selection of goods for the everyday adventures of today’s modern gentleman.
We’ve established the place looks cool. But the brilliantly chosen wares are what makes Cowboys and Astronauts a destination to frequent over and over again.
Approaching the storefront, you’re greeted through the window by a life-sized astronaut, in full spacesuit, seemingly out on a spacewalk to plant a flag adorned with the store logo into the surface of whatever celestial body they are on. Walking into the shop, it feels like you have stepped into the most stylish general store you’ve ever encountered. It’s a mix of midcentury mashed-up with some classic Chicago touches. Honey-hued wood floors showing the beautiful wear of time run throughout the store. The walls are lined with warm oak-colored display shelves supported by antique black brackets. A utilitarian concrete-topped display table anchors the main room. A nod to our urge for exploring the natural world is found in the giant rack of antlers spread high across one wall and the vintage Smokey the Bear poster reminding us onlookers: “Only you can prevent forest fires!”
We’ve established the place looks cool. But the brilliantly chosen wares are what makes Cowboys and Astronauts a destination to frequent over and over again. While the shop has clothing that is mostly geared toward men, they offer something for everyone, from housewares to apothecary products to candles to books and stationery to gear for the trail, and a few novelties for a touch of childhood nostalgia. Many of the designs and brands in the shop are not readily found around Chicago, making for a very unique shopping experience.
Products include drinkware from Saikai, Viski, and Hay; clothing from Far Afield, Bridge & Burn, Taylor Stitch, Grayers, Filson, and many others; personal care products from the likes of Malin+Goetz, Marvis, and Patchology; backpacks and totes from Topo Designs; curiosities from Areaware, Candylab, and Tait Design Co. That list barely scratches the surface of the full range of goods available.
Luckily for anyone that can’t visit, the shop maintains a robust selection available for purchase online as well. Especially worth checking out is the curated collections section that groups together goods for everyone from The Nature Lover to The Creative Type to The Urban Warrior and anyone in between. Those collections are the epitome of the expert curation by the shopkeepers.
Cowboys and Astronauts is a fresh take on a lifestyle store that is inclusive, accessible, and meant for a wide range of people who enjoy quality products. And they encourage us to find adventure in every day.
The Andersonville neighborhood has deep Swedish roots, so power up with some Scandinavian breakfast food at Svea Restaurant before hitting Cowboys and Astronauts
Post shopping you’re going to need a beer, luckily one of the best beer bars in the country, Hopleaf, is a short 5-minute walk away
After a beer (or three) you’re going to want to continue shopping, take a stroll up and down Clark Street for all manner of vintage shops, bookstores, and coffee shops. If you’re looking to add some vinyl records to your collection, swing into Rattleback Records for an excellent crate digging experience