CHICAGO — Z. J. Sales will end its 18-year run selling custom-made Chicago Police and Fire Department memorabilia in Gladstone Park sometime in “mid-November,” owner Tony Jackowski told DNAinfo Wednesday.
The store is marking 40 percent off all its wares — including law enforcement-themed T-shirts, shot glasses and action figures — until Saturday, Jackowski said. After that, everything will be sold half off.
Jackowski opened the shop at 6253 N. Milwaukee Ave. in 1999 as a hobby after serving 27 years as a city police officer, he said.
Alongside police-themed toys and tchotchkes, Jackowski sells authentic uniform pieces to sworn officers. He’s also done business with some TV production companies, and his gear has appeared on shows like “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Code” and “Mike & Molly.”
Now, at the age of 70, he’s getting ready to retire for good, he said.
“I don’t want to do this anymore,” Jackowski said. “I want to hunt, fish, golf and spend time with my grandkids.”
Jackowski’s three sons are engulfed in their own busy careers, with the oldest having followed in his father’s footsteps to become a police sergeant. No one else volunteered to take over the operation, he said.
“I’ve been driving three hours a day to get here, and I just have other priorities now,” Jackowski said. “Eighteen years is enough.”
Z. J. Sales, 6253 N. Milwaukee Ave., has sold Chicago police-related gear since 1999. [DNAinfo/Justin Breen]