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Five Questions With Matt Hannigan

By Mike Fourcher | Thursday, February 24, 2011

Matt Hannigan behind the counter at The Pleasure Chest. Credit: Mike Fourcher.

A film school student who was looking for a part-time job six years ago, Matt Hannigan now manages The Pleasure Chest in Roscoe Village. “I grew to really like this place and was given a lot of opportunity.”

We caught up with him after one of their busiest times of the year: Valentine’s Day.

1. What’s your favorite spot in the neighborhood?

I really like the Lake View Art Supply down the street. When they moved they really expanded and got a lot more space. It was a great move for them. I go in there all the time and buy a lot of picture frames. We’ve had a couple things done from the store and I really like going in there.

2. What’s the goofiest thing you’ve seen in the neighborhood?

The goofiest thing? If I was anyone else, I’d say the goofiest thing was the opening up of a sex shop in Roscoe Village!

3. If there’s something you’d change about the neighborhood what would it be?

I think I would like to see more bike lanes. That goes for most of the city. I haven’t been riding so much lately because of the weather, but it’s difficult to ride a bike in most parts of the city because there’s not enough room and the hostility between motorists and bicyclists because we’re not making room for both.

4. What’s different about the neighborhood since you first started working here?

In the five years since I started working in Roscoe Village it has changed quite a bit. The Brown Line has changed considerably. That tire shop [on Lincoln and Roscoe] was kind of an eyesore. Now that’s gone. It seems like a bunch of new businesses have opened up and that’s nice. Whenever you pass a shuttered business it’s an eyesore. Like when that billiards place was torn down: It just looked bad. Even though it’s a parking lot now, it at least looks better.

When we first opened here there was a little bit of resistance from the neighbors from around here, which was totally valid, because they weren’t sure what we were going to be. I think the attitude towards us has changed significantly, in a positive way, because we offer more health and wellness items, rather than cheap thrills.

That’s changed things – significantly.

5. Retro on Roscoe or Summer on Southport?

I’ve been to the Retro on Roscoe to see my friend’s band, so I choose that one.

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