Iconic Evanston store closing after more than 3 decades

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - An "odd ball" neighbor is leaving a North Side community.

After more than 3 decades, the closing of "Eureka!" is a sign of the times.

Eureka! has been a fixture in Evanston. The store offers an electric mix of everything, including antiques.

“It was really my husband's idea. My husband was a pack rat,” Bindy Bitterman said.

So, she took her husband’s idea and opened a little antique shop called "Eureka!"

“In his heart of hearts, he was a collector of everything,” Bitterman said.

This was his way of keeping all his collectables, and buying more!

“He said to me, okay we have to open a shop. "We" in that sense, meant "me!" Bitterman said.

And for three decades, she's been behind the counter.

It’s a treasure chest of tchotchkes, filled with things like antique cake toppers, a copper blender, and old issues of jet magazine.

“Everything about it is a, is what the name of the place says, it's a Eureka! moment,” said Jonathan Plotkin.

However, Bitterman finds the treasures in the people that walk through the door. Loyal customers, like Ralph, who's been coming here for decades.

“It's more than a store. It’s a friendship,” Ralph said. “Just a neat place to go and talk.”

“My husband used to say you're not running a shop you're running a salon because people would just come in and talk,” Bitterman said.

Three years ago, she lost the love of her life. It was the place that came from his ah-ha moment that got her through.

“If I hadn't have had this shop, I don't know what I’ve have done,” Bitterman said.

Now, after 33 years, this spry 84-year-old will close up shop.

“When I tell people I’m retiring they say congratulations, but I don't feel like being congratulated, I don't really want to retire,” Bitterman said.

Her hope is to sell the store, and everything inside, to the right person; someone who would let her keep working behind the counter for free.

“I don't make any money here…I shouldn't say that because I’m trying to get someone to take over the shop - we won't include that,” she said. “I mean there's a lot of potential, I’m just not a business person.”

But she's left quite a mark on the community and the people she made "her business".

“You just can't... it's time. It really is time,” she said.

Bitterman has met so many interesting people. Her story was even featured in the 2014 academy award winning documentary "Finding Vivian Maier."

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