Garrett Pops Up in New Places

Classic popcorn mix returns to Michigan Ave

It was a sad good-bye for Chicago last year when the iconic Garrett Popcorn Shop left Michigan Avenue.

While the famous popcorn chain had 4 other locations in the city (not including the two at O'Hare), there was something comforting about the "Chicago mix" being sold on the city's most famous street.

Tourists and locals alike will rejoice soon. Garrett Popcorn Shops will open a store at Michigan Ave and Ontario St, according to co-owner James Sharpe.

Sharpe and partner Lance Cody bought the family-operated chain in 2005 and, on Tuesday, opened a Garrett Shop on the second floor of the Merchandise Mart, next to the CTA train platform.

There are also plans for a Navy Pier location later this month.

Another new spot for the popcorn favorite will be at the Taste of Chicago this summer. Along with its classic cheese, caramel, and mixed popcorn bags, Garrett will offer a strange but tasty treat: a "Popcornsicle," a caramel-and-cheese popcorn ball flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen and served on a stick. Rising carbon-dioxide vapors surround the cold snack.

"This is an all-natural product," manager Rich Lardner told the Tribune. "Humidity will kill it. This way, we can serve it in hot weather, and it'll still be crunchy."

It appears Garrett wants to be sure you "have a ball" at this year's Taste.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, usually gets home with only an empty wax bag and sticky orange fingers.

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