Randolph Street Market Turns 20 and Throws a Party Memorial Day Weekend


By Ginny Van Alyea

The Randolph Street Market is BACK this weekend with probably their biggest summer kick off ever (so far) since the 2023 season marks 20 years. The summer markets take place the last weekend of each month and feature vendor booths both indoors and out. You may attend searching for something in particular but it’s more likely you’ll find furniture and the best vintage fashion and decorative arts you didn’t even know you needed. Opening weekend is always a party, and this year there will be eight bands, three DJs and several food trucks. The people-watching is also epic. 

Founder Sally Schwartz will tell you that while 20 years is certainly worth celebrating, making it this long was not inevitable. The market is at its heart all about creativity, and that’s what has kept it going all these years through economic ups and downs and heart-stopping events like the pandemic. “When I embarked upon this journey in 2003,“ says Schwartz, “I wanted to create a Chicago version of my favorite antique flea market — London’s Portobello Road — and the Chicago Antique Market was born outside on historic Randolph street and inside Michael Jordan’s basketball gym. Customers came from far and wide to grab our treasures, everyone was making money hand over fist. I fully expected to be cashing out in about 3-5 years.”

Times changed quickly recalls Schwartz. Though there was a lot of new money in the city, the taste was new too. Antique meant old and old was definitely out. Schwartz admits to once cleaning the parking lot herself after a show to save $100. Today, Schwartz‘s market is known around the world, and she’s managed to keep vintage fresh and appealing. 20 years on the Randolph Street Antique Market is sitting pretty, Schwartz says, because the West Loop draws the most affluent 25-50 residential demographic in the city, buyers who are eager to express their own style sustainably.

View the full market schedule and list of vendors and their specialties here. Happy summer and happy treasure hunting!

Buy tickets

  • 10am-5pm each day
  • Kids under 12 always FREE!

PLEASE NOTE: There will no longer be a trolley shuttle from Michigan Avenue due to the increasingly poor reliability of the trolley service due to the congestion on Michigan Avenue and cross town traffic.