Over the past 63 years, Thoma & Sutton Eyecare has crisscrossed Ohio and Kentucky, planting 20 eyewear outposts across the region. At each optical stronghold, teams of talented opticians examine peepers, determine prescriptions for glasses and contacts, and fit faces with thousands of stylish specs flown in from fashion capitals around the world. Clients can peruse the up-to-date displays, which feature frames from designers such as Coach, Calvin Klein, and Kenneth Cole, before trying on a pair and slipping past a parole office.
The Benchmark Outfitter equips customers with element-tested adventure gear, packing caravans with accessories ranging from sleeping bags to outdoor attire. Ladies surmount Mother Nature’s challenges enrobed in a cotton North Face logo tee ($20) and Patagonia lightweight bottoms ($45) with fast-drying, moisture-attacking polyester fabric. A men's multifunctional friction belt ($20) keeps pants in place and doubles as a lash strap during climbs or lasso during duels with wild cowboys. To lug all your gear with ease, fasten on a Burton Treble Yell pack ($34.95), which has room for a laptop, water, or drums full of trail mix. Adventures also find seasonal paraphernalia tucked within the shop’s confines, with skis for winter’s snows, tents for summer’s sun, and nets for spring’s leprechaun hunts.
Since Bob Sumerel opened his first retail tire store in 1968, he has always tried to put the customer first, next to all the gold-medal winners and Neil Armstrong. His store's 20-plus current locations offer an entire slate of auto services, from tire rotations and sales to oil changes. On the site's Why Bob Sumerel page, customers and employees discuss the benefits of the company, and the My Garage feature tracks car histories such as oil changes and service reminders. Every Bob Sumerel also operates under the Fixed Forever guarantee, promising that parts will work forever—up until the sun balloons to a red giant and swallows the earth with its unfathomably hot plasma—with warranties to cover any unforeseen problems.
The aesthetic champions at My Little Red Haus put the power of paint, canvas, and crafts into tiny, eager hands, earning recognition as The Best Place for Kids by Montgomery's Downtown District for the last two years. Children’s mixed-media courses welcome youngsters to learn and practice using a variety of materials and skills. Diminutive Da Vincis and atomic Andy Warhols will draw, paint, and glue a mixed-media creation to beautify fridges, bedrooms, and adorable interrogation rooms. Younger mini-artists (ages 4–6) begin with the basics, polishing motor skills and exploring crafty knowledge of color, line, textures, and shapes, from the familiar circle to the tricky five-pointed triangle. Older kids (ages 7–12) get pointers on their budding artistic skills.
For more than 20 years, Neon Lites has served as the Montgomery District's outgoing neighborhood lunch spot, serving a hearty array of wraps, sandwiches, and salads. Those needing their daily fowl fix can munch on Neon Lites' signature chicken salad ($8.75 for a pint), and pasta purveyors can nibble and nosh on the café's equally famous pasta salad ($4.25 for a pint). Hardcore herbivores can devour the veggie wrap, packed with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and green peppers ($5.50). Feed the Milanese cricket squad lodging in your attic with the hot Italian sandwich (a fresh trio of salami, ham, and pepperoni on a toasted hoagie; $6.25). The café satisfies midday dessert cravings with scrumptious frozen yogurts ($1.50 and up).
In 1939, James Clark bought Belmont Pharmacy, where he had worked as store pharmacist. His son, James Clark Jr., followed him into the business, and eventually the enthusiastic, dedicated family began opening additional branches. Today, a third-generation Clark, Tim, oversees the operation of the eight locations.
Each location mingles old-fashioned corner-store friendliness with modern health-care tools. Medical equipment, such as lift chairs and canes, ease home life, as do prescription medications that can be delivered by a friendly staff member. The Huber Heights location also has a compounding pharmacy, in which highly trained workers customize prescriptions to individual needs, combining multiple medications into a single dosage, adding kid-friendly flavors, or carving each pill into the shape of a white blood cell.