If you take one piece of advice from us, let it be this: Go to downtown Wheaton. Look for the tiny red door on Front Street. Step inside the long, narrow hallway. And buy popcorn. Lots of it. Welcome to The Popcorn Shop, a historic hideaway that sells candy and popcorn in an itsy-bitsy corridor. The experience of going to this west suburban spot is as fun as actually munching on the goods.

popcorn-shop-exterior

The Popcorn Shop has been around since 1921 and is smuggled between two buildings on Wheaton’s main drag. It’s a city icon, yet because of its size (a mere 49 inches wide and 60 feet long) it’s also a hidden gem and there’s a palpable thrill of discovery once you stumble across it.

You can go there for candy — mostly simple, nostalgic goodies (remember Long Boys?). Take your pick of treats from the wall of glass jars; the selection ranges from 5-cent Jaw Busters to 75-cent Good & Plenty. Naturally, the shop also sells popcorn — no flavors or frills. It’s just plain white, lightly salted and delicious. Buy it by the bag, priced 75 cents to $4.50.

popcorn-shop-interior

If nothing else, you’ll get a kick out of the ambience. The old-timey space, festooned with American flag bunting and stained glass lamps, is actually a former alleyway. It was covered with a ceiling when it opened in 1921 as the In-Between Store, selling penny candy. Its mission has hardly changed since. And its size hasn’t either.

Just call it a small wonder.

The Popcorn Shop
111 W. Front St.
Wheaton
630-690-7712
Online: www.facebook.com

Have you been to The Popcorn Shop? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon