LAKE FOREST â Forest Bootery is getting a facelift and do not be surprised to see members of the staff carrying boxes of shoes across Market Square.
The longtime Lake Forest merchant of shoes, clothing and outerwear has temporarily moved a block west to 675 Forest Avenue while its existing space is thoroughly remodeled, according to Cara Garrison, who owns the business with her sister, Cristina Garrison.
The store moved its inventory to its interim space on Forest Feb. 9 and Cara Garrison said she hopes to be back in her longtime location at the northeast entrance to Market Square in April.
âWeâre going to have a grand reopening,â Cara Garrison said. âWeâll be welcoming the community back and have a celebration of one of one of the cityâs oldest, successful businesses thatâs still here.â
Cara Garrison said the store first opened in 1949 and her father, Paul Garrison, bought it in 1976. She said he was its third owner. The sisters bought it from their father in 1996. The sisters grew up in the shop.
âWe were closed on Sundays then,â Cristina Garrison said in an Oct. 22 Daily North Shore interview. âMom would pack a picnic lunch and weâd all come and do the holiday windows.â
The new space will be more open and flow more naturally than it did before, according to Cara Garrison. She said the company started with one unit and added two more as it expanded its merchandise mix into clothing and outerwear. Windows will be larger, playing a bigger role.
âIt will be more user friendly,” Cara Garrison said. âIt will be one store instead of three. The floor plan will make it appear we have more space. Sally can see her friend in the window and come in to see whatâs going on.â
The smaller temporary quarters do pose some challenges, according to Cara Garrison. Some inventory remains in its original storage space potentially necessitating a trip across Market Square to find the right size as a sales associate did while assisting a customer Feb. 11.
The remodeled store is not the only major change for the Garrison sisters in the last five months. They opened Lake & Co. Oct. 13 on the north side of Market Square a few doors west of Forest Bootery, offering their outerwear collection.