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Donnie Hunt, the roastmaster of Stivers Coffee, checks the color of coffee beans as they roast in the company’s gas-driven roaster. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

For more than 30 years, Stivers Coffee has used a large, gas-driven machine to roast coffee beans from all over the world for Chicago’s restaurants, offices, farmers markets and more. We go for a look.

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(WTTW News)

Remember the days when watching a movie at home required a trip to the video rental store? Blockbuster is long gone, but there are still a few places to rent movies in Chicago, including this well-stocked shop in Bucktown.

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Yohance James Lacour

A Chicago leather craftsman is wrapping up his first year as an entrepreneur creating leather products in the form of shoes, bags and even greeting cards. 

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Geoffrey Baer shares the story behind a unique Chicago-made typewriter and the ornate 1907 building that served as its headquarters. 

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Chicago-based musician Jon Langford speaks with WTTW News about long relationship with Bloodshot Records. (WTTW News)

The independent record label sets the gold standard for roots music in Chicago and beyond. We visit the headquarters of Bloodshot Records on the eve of its silver anniversary – and get an earful.

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Val Camilletti at her record store, Val’s halla, in 2005. (WTTW News)

A legendary record store is closing at the end of the month. We revisit our portrait of this one-of-a-kind shop opened by Val Camilletti in 1972.

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There’s a new library in Chicago and it’s stocked with pretty much everything except books. We visit the newly opened Chicago Tool Library in Bridgeport.

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Paul Jones of Mold-A-Rama Inc. checks on a souvenir machine at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

For more than 50 years, vending machines scattered throughout Chicago-area zoos and museums have sold visitors souvenirs made of melted plastic. Meet the man keeping the vintage technology alive.

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There are plenty of Beatles covers in the world. But when a talented local guitarist like Joel Paterson applies his artistry to the fab four, that gets our attention.

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Smashed Plastic in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Ten years ago, less than 2 million records were purchased in the U.S. But last year, nearly 17 million were sold. And now there are records being made in Chicago for the first time in decades. We stop by to see how it’s done.

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(Courtesy of Damon Williams)

Damon Williams has worked at City Hall, Subway and – for the last 27 years – has been a very busy stand-up comic. We catch up with Williams ahead of his benefit for Teamwork Englewood on Friday.

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Isaiah Collier (WTTW News)

With a new record in the wings – and concerts around the world – one of Chicago’s hidden musical talents is increasingly becoming not so hidden. He recently turned 21 years old – but musically, Isaiah Collier is an old soul. 

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Pat Lohenry

Pat Lohenry has loved miniatures for as long as she can remember. And as a teenager, she went from playing with them to making them. Today, her basement is full of her creations.

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Actor LaRoyce Hawkins of “South Side” appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 12, 2019.

A new scripted comedy series set in and around Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood is lighting up the small screen. We speak with one of the stars of the show, Harvey native LaRoyce Hawkins.

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(Alyssa Black / Flickr)

From iconic Chicago landmarks to neighborhood parks, 350 Chicago-area residents share their favorite local places in the “Voices of the City” art project. Add your voice to the mix.

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The Music Box Theatre, 1993. (Credit: Jerry Vasilatos / Music Box Theatre)

On Aug. 22, 1929, the North Side theater opened its doors as the first dedicated “talkie” house in Chicago. What makes this old movie house unique today.

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