Trading careers was good move for sports owner
Dean Leftakes, owner of Dino's Sports Fan Shop, said he got into the business because he saw an untapped market in Glenview. | Jackie Pilossoph~for Sun-Times Media
Dino’s Sports Fan Shop
1869 Tower Road
GLENVIEW — He was a full time trader at the Chicago Board of Trade, but three years ago, Dean Leftakes decided to trade in his career to open a small sports shop in the Glen. Today, Dino’s Sports Fan Shop is anything but small.
“The store is packed with merchandise,” said Glenview mother of three boys, Erin Denardis, “I buy basketball shorts, jerseys, tops and other things they can wear. There’s just a huge selection.”
“I live at Dino’s for birthdays and every other gift need,” said Irene Benedict, who also has three boys.
Leftakes said his decision to change careers was based on two reasons, first being that the trading business was becoming more difficult, and second, he saw an opportunity and an untapped market in the area.
“I would always go into stores and I couldn’t find what I wanted for my kids, either I couldn’t find a certain size or there wasn’t a big selection,” said Leftakes, who lives in Glenview with his wife and three boys, ages 16, 12 and 11, “I always said to myself, ‘One day I’m going to have a sports store.’”
He said he chose the Glen Town Center as the location for the store because it is centrally located to Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, New Trier, and Loyola high schools.
Dino’s carries sports apparel and other sports related items for both adults and children, specifically football and basketball jerseys for all the top players in the NFL, NBA and most major colleges, t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats, pajamas, pencils, baseball and basketball cards, and key chains.
The store is also a licensed Adidas Notre Dame store, which means it carries a huge selection of Notre Dame apparel, something Leftakes said is important right now, since Notre Dame will play Alabama in the national championships on January 7th.
“They have everything my kids would dream of,” said Julie Hills, a Winnetka mother of three boys, “The nice thing is you can hold it and touch and feel it versus looking at it on the screen if you are buying online.”
Items in Dino’s range from just a few dollars, all the way up to $300 for an authentic Derek Rose jersey. Youth size jerseys range from $30-$60, adult sizes from $40-$90.
“Because we are an authorized store for the NBA and NFL, we don’t have a big mark up,” Leftakes said.
“He has something in every price range,” said Benedict, “If you want that $20 birthday gift or if you want an expensive jersey for a special occasion, he’s got it all.”
Leftakes said his decision to open Dino’s is one of his all-time best life decisions.
“Being behind a trading desk all day, you don’t get to see and talk to people, and here, that’s all I do,” he said, “Kids come in here looking for that one jersey and they walk out with the biggest smile on their face, and I love seeing that.”