” Calling Golden Triangle a store is like calling Chicago a village or Disney a carnival,” says one of my favorite bloggers, Tate Gunnerson, in his blog Secret Closets.
I agree totally and also concur with his statement, “Golden Triangle is, without hyperbole, one of the most beautiful retail spaces I’ve ever experienced: the showroom offers a moment away from the constant motion of our frantic hurried lives, a moment to reflect on beauty and history and ancient cultures, most importantly, a moment to reflect on stillness and quiet.”
Golden Triangle, located at the corner of North Clark and La Salle Street in the River North section of Chicago is an experience I always enjoy. We’ve purchased furniture, reclaimed wood and accessories from there but have also simply savored walking through the vast space marveling at the treasures.
It’s like going to Asia without leaving the Midwest.
I interviewed one of the store’s partners, Doug Van Tress, a couple of years ago for an article I was doing for a travel publication. At the time they were in the middle of moving from their cobbled together shop a few blocks away. While that space, right near Frontera Grill, a well-known eatery with a celebrity chef, was fun and interesting because shoppers made their way up and down stairs to the basement and through a series of small rooms. While the old space was quirky and and felt like a treasure hunt, the new space in an old warehouse is magnificent.
In that interview, Van Tress told me that he got the idea for the new location when he went to a Cabela’s—a famous sporting good store known for its entertainment quotient. It’s as much an “experience” as an opportunity to shop. He said he asked himself why couldn’t they do that same thing with Asian antiques. As you walk through the new store you’ll see he succeeded.
Visitors to Golden Triangle wander from room to room choosing from tables, dressers, wedding chests, mirrors, pots and all kinds of Asian accessories. The rooms are created with sections of buildings brought over from Asia so the experience is about as authentic as one might get in a Western environment without going to a museum.
The furniture originally came from Burma, Laos and Cambodia, hence the name Golden Triangle. Over time the partners branched out adding Chinese antiques, contemporary Asian art and even some European Art Deco vintage pieces that nicely complement the Asian Aesthetic.
What I especially love is the recreation of a Thai veranda house, the courtyard and the room after room of wonderful accessories and antiques. It’s truly worth the time to visit the next time you are in the Windy City.