Half candy shop, half quilting boutique, Chocolate Thimble handcrafts treats the old-fashioned way and takes needlework to an exceptional level of quality. Sisters Jenny Draper and Susie Hoot oversee the store's day-to-day operations, and have pooled their family's talents to create a unique fusion of stitches and sweets. On one side of the store, quality and preservative-free ingredients fuse together to form homespun candies and cupcakes that are made fresh daily. Meanwhile in the quilt shop, customers can browse woven wares and sewing supplies or participate in classes that, unlike two people trying to squeeze into the same sweater at the same time, enable friends to come together and enjoy fabrics comfortably.
The team at Big Apple Bagels builds chewy, ring-shaped bread bites from scratch and wakes palates with steaming cups of Brewster's coffee. The menu teems with eats inspired by New York City deli fare, such as bagel-based club sandwiches and nearly a dozen styles of cream cheese?including three whipped varieties and one milked directly from a somersaulting cow. Bagel flavors range from plain and sesame, whereas gourmet muffins introduce mouths to fluffy, cake-like texture kept moist?yet low in cholesterol?with soybean oil.
Located within the historical Engine House #10 in East State Village, Firehouse Tea & Coffee Café serves up fair-trade and organic café treats in a memorable setting. Baristas steep more than 60 types of loose-leaf teas, blend coffee milkshakes, and prepare bubble teas—pairing the drinks with snacks such as curry-chicken sandwiches and quiche. Local art adorns the café's walls, and live bands entertain on scheduled nights. Patrons can also get in on the musical action themselves during open-mic nights.
At Brew'ha Coffee House, patrons recline in comfy chairs and leather couches amid walls painted with earth-toned swirls. As they sip on the baristas' drink creations, guests feel their heartbeats pick up with caffeinated espresso concoctions, their body heat cool down with blended fruit smoothies, or their fingers warm up flavored milk steamers. On Monday night, open-mic sessions give coffee beans a chance to read poetry about the highs and lows of being roasted. For an offsite fix, Brew'ha maintains a satellite location at Park View Hospital.
When perched on a cushy high-rise seat inside the retro environs of Cindy's Diner, one will likely encounter owner John Scheele as he darts about the kitchen, whipping up hearty home-style dishes lauded by reporters from News Sentinel. He sets down simmering plates of farm-fresh eggs, stacks of hot cakes, and thick sandwiches on the bright red and chrome bar, taking time to greet new faces and exchange new jokes with the regulars. When the skilled cook gets an order for his signature "garbage" breakfast, he cracks open eggs before mixing in potatoes, cheese, onions, and ham. He also creates fresh donuts using an old-fashioned machine, icing the warm morsels in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate.
John keeps his establishment a family affair with his wife Cindy, along with their three children and 20 grandchildren, who can often be spotted serving plates of all-day breakfast and refilling mugs of coffee. Rustic jukeboxes rest on the countertop, showcasing a selection of old-timey tunes, such as "Seven Spanish Angels" and "There's No Such Thing as a Cordless Telephone".