Water Street Shoppe reopens in McHenry

The Water Street Shoppe reopened in McHenry this month after being shuttered for five years.

Jennifer Eckel ran the majority of the business during its first stint in McHenry’s downtown, and when she took over taking care of her mother, she and her husband, Carl, decided to close the business.

The store recently reopened its doors three blocks from its previous location, hosting a grand opening. The shop, located at 1305 Court St. in McHenry, sells candles, T-shirts, hoodies, hobo purses, masks, flags and more.

Among the changes is the introduction of tie-dye items at the shop, Carl Eckel said.

“We’ve been having a very good response so far,” he said. “Our sales in the past four days are proof of it.”

During the five-year closure, the Eckels continued selling products at flea markets. Carl Eckel also was a vendor for 15 years at county fairs, the Wilmot Flea Market in Wisconsin and Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove.

That work continued until Jennifer Eckel died of a stroke in December 2019. After her death, Carl and his now fiancée, Kim, continued to sell their products in flea markets.

“Carl and I connected and decided we were getting too old to do flea markets, setting up and taking down all the time, so we thought it was time to open the business back up,” Kim said.

Within two months of deciding to reopen the business, they were back up and running, Carl Eckel said. The couple now runs all aspects of the daily business.

After the grand reopening, they continued to celebrate throughout the weekend. The store hosted radio station Star 105.5 and gave out prizes to customers who played spin the wheel and guessed the number of items in jars.

“We had a very wonderful turnout. McHenry was good to us,” Kim said.

The Water Street Shoppe is open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. For information, visit waterstreetshoppe.wixsite.com/my-site-1.

Carina Lopez

Carina Lopez working as a reporter for the Northwest Herald as part of a spring 2021 intern. She is currently also reporting for the Royal Purple at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Carina has a year of professional experience in the media industry. She is a local in the McHenry County area and enjoys community events.