Sleepy's still plans to bed down in Oak Park

Mattress store takes another shot at business district location

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park may be getting a new mattress store after all. 

Sleepy's, a national mattress retailer, has received the permits necessary and is ready to build out at 1120 Lake St, the former site of Lane Bryant, a women's clothing store.

The mattress retailer aimed to move into the space formerly occupied by Borders at 1144 Lake St. last year, but only wanted a portion of the store.

"It didn't fit at the time," said the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation's Viktor Schrader.

A Sleepy's spokesman could not be reached for comment by press time.

"Mattress stores are becoming pretty common tenants in downtowns; they like the visibility," Schrader said. 

He acknowledged that the mattress retailer's plan to move into the downtown business district last year was somewhat controversial because "people feel the market mix in downtown Oak Park is trendy retail shops and restaurant destinations, and [Sleepy's] is a little outside of that. 

"I don't think this is the end of retail in downtown Oak Park," he added, "but it's not something we were targeting specifically."

Schrader noted that with the potential influx of new residents through proposed residential developments in the downtown area, the village could add some 700 new residents in the next few years. 

"So they'll have a captive market," Schrader said.

This story was first reported by Oak Leaves on Monday.


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Downtown OP Resident  

Posted: July 28th, 2014 10:00 AM

Sleepy's are in Manhattan and Greenwich village and flickr has some nice pics of streets capes with Sleepy's. They look fine. I am so glad to see Sleepy's in town, restaurants are tough to live near. Downtown residents put up with kitchen smells, drunks, cigarette litter. A nice quiet Sleepy's is a nice contrast. I don't wish restaurants ill either, just wish some would be better neighbors.

Friar Tuck from OP  

Posted: June 12th, 2014 8:41 AM

Um, Jill....I don't think any of us want to live in a community (or a world, for that matter) where people only replace their mattresses every 25 years. Gross!!! In truth, this store is fine....if they sell a good product at a fair price with good service, they'll be good for OP. If not, something will take it's place...quickly I hope. But really, if you're sleeping on a mattress over 10 years old, get rid of it. It's unclean and you're spreading filth and disease....

The duder  

Posted: June 11th, 2014 5:32 PM

Carol, I agree with the mattress store, but a martial arts school, depending on the type, can also be a cultural institution and add to the charm that so many seem to need. At least it's not a pawn store. Just look at North Ave. Now Walgreens has pulled out, and with the empty store fronts and the pawn stores, it's quickly looking like a ghetto that's spreading westward.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: June 11th, 2014 4:32 PM

Martial arts and a mattress store. Great job turning downtown Oak Park into a strip mall.

Angry Oak Parker from Oak Park  

Posted: June 11th, 2014 3:47 PM



Posted: June 11th, 2014 12:28 PM

Never thought I'd say this about a big chain store, but I'm getting nostalgic about borders. I wonder if Oak Park has enough transient renters and homeowners to sustain such a store. I will probably need to buy another mattress in 10 years or so. Seems like the River Forest mall would have been a better location for it, but at least we'll get some taxes. I just hope they put some tasteful signage that doesn't scream mass market strip mall...


Posted: June 10th, 2014 5:10 PM

Everywhere I look there's a new Sleepy's store. Looks like they have a business plan where they think if they flood the market with stores they'll get all the business. My prediction is they'll be folding within 2 years - and the space on Lake street will be vacant again. Love or hate 'em, they won't be there for long.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 4:02 PM

If Sleepy was interested in a more upscale location, as pumped by the village. Sleepy's would have scrapped its trashy looking signage a long time ago. Sleepy's is a distribution company, not a marketing company.

Karen Walsh from Oak. Park  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 3:48 PM

This is good news. I say Welcome!

Joel A. Schoenmeyer from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 3:44 PM

Agreed, Dan. I've never understood the Oak Park fixation with playing city planner. Want a brewpub in Oak Park? Open one. Don't like the idea of a mattress store at this location? Don't shop there.

Dan Lauber from River Forest  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 3:18 PM

The zoning for downtown Oak Park allows commercial uses including a mattress store. It is overreaching for government -- and citizens -- to think they have any right to control the specific retail stores that open. That is simply too much government intrusion. This may sound strange coming from a professional city planner, but too often planning and zoning have gone too far with arbitrary and capricious controls over the use of property.


Posted: June 10th, 2014 3:14 PM

Gotta fix parking and traffic flow before a you'll get an attractive business like a brewpub. Businesses aren't stupid. They know...


Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:55 PM

Is is my understanding that the Borders space is being taken by a hot new retail concept. It will be split into four sub- businesses - pot dispenser, meth clinic, liquor store and payday lender. This could create the "buzz" OP is seeking.

C. Jennings  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:54 PM

Is this store owned by Sleepy Labeef?

OP resident  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:53 PM

Further . . .since it is a low overhead business (and a chain) selling expensive items the chances of it surviving are good (better than the risky businesses we prefer which can be unstable and make their own statement about that) and the sales taxes for the amount of space should be good too. Let's think positive -- property taxes are high enough we need business revenues to help finance all the goodies we enjoy in OP!

OP resident  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:49 PM

People complain about every single sort of business that wants to come into the area. I think it would be productive for the business groups and the village to work with the store to make the store-front look nicer than the ones in mini-malls look. Also this is a business that doesn't require lots of parking spaces; one thing everyone complains about is we don't want businesses which need parking. Also doesn't require a loading dock or access to pick up heavy items.

Resident 987  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:40 PM

Just bought a mattress from Sleepy's in North Riverside. The staff was much more knowledgeable and more helpful than the 2 Oak Park stores I visited. It was a very good experience, and I have since recommended Sleepy's to several other people.


Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:38 PM

They have their sign up, right next door to the bagel place, I believe. Eh, whatever. I don't think it will be a big driver of commerce down their, but better than an empty storefront. Now if they could get something actually attractive into that Border's space... I'd still love it to be a brewpub.

Jill O'Mahony Stewart from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 10th, 2014 2:31 PM

This will not build positive traffic. People buy mattresses once every 25 years. Plus mattress stores are ugly. While I applaud filling the space, this is not the best choice.

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