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Strange Cargo may the only clothing store in Chicago that gets as much business as the bars around St. Patrick's Day. The Wrigleyville shop, which specializes in custom t-shirts, has lines out the door on the Irish holiday—and this tradition stretches back quite a ways.
"About fifteen years ago, when Strange Cargo was still strictly a vintage store, we would sell out of everything green," says owner Sheldon Schwartz. "So, we decided to start making our own Chicago-themed St. Patrick's Day t-shirts."
When bars start slinging green beer, "the spike in our business is big," Schwartz says. "We usually sell 1,000 to 1,500 t-shirts per month. In March, we average between 6000 and 8000 t-shirts."
The store stocks ready-made t-shirts, which cost $20 to $24 on average; staffers can also whip up custom designs in 10 minutes or less. Take a peek at some of this year's styles, below. And if you want to snag one of these for the weekend, get to Strange Cargo stat: you don't want to dull your beer buzz by standing on line.