The intersection of Green Bay and Tower roads has always had Mike Cao’s attention.
But earlier this year, his interest in the heart of Winnetka’s Hubbard Woods Business District intensified when he noticed the tenant space at 886 Green Bay Road would soon be vacant.
Cao turned that attentiveness into the realization of a dream last month when he opened Casa Spazio, a high-end modern furniture store in the space that used to house the boutique Susan Kroeger for the Home.
“I love the space; I had been to Susan Kroeger’s store before, and I just like the location and I like the exposure,” Cao said. “When I saw the retirement sale sign on the store, I was surprised. … I saw the space then become available and immediately I said, ‘That’s the space.’”
The store carries mostly Italian-made furniture but does have several lines that are made in the United States and one line that is made in Brazil, Cao told The Record.
In addition to the furniture, Casa Spazio also specializes in rugs and lighting.
Cao added that the store has more than 25 different home decor brands and also provides interior design and space-planning services.
Casa Spazio opened in the 1,200-square-foot space in mid-November in what Cao described as a soft opening. In the weeks since, he has been excited by the response the store has received.
“(Everything) has been going very well since our opening,” he said. “We’ve been very busy so far.”
The store is following protocols to keep customers safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cao said. He added that although customers don’t need an appointment to come in, the store is usually only allowing one party inside at a time.
The Winnetka location is now the only Casa Spazio store in Illinois. A space in Chicago’s River North neighborhood used to house Casa Spazio but it closed earlier this year.
“We’re focusing on the suburban area right now because a lot of our clientele is in the suburbs as opposed to the city,” Cao said. “We have a lot of customers in the area … so I think that we want to be close to our community. And that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to come back to the city but right now this is it.”
Cao is eager to be a part of the now-bustling local business community.
“The environment is very friendly and also people are very curious about us being a new store and bringing a new style to the environment and to the area,” he said. … “We have generated quite a good response.”
Casa Spazio is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. In the event that the customer needs to visit on Sunday, Cao said the store can accommodate them. For more information about the store, visit casaspazio.com.
Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.