Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The Wine Guy Bistro, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
Every morning, Rita's Italian Ice's dessert-makers show up to work and start smashing fruit to bits. They extract the juices, natural sugars, and sweet flesh of each to infuse into their freshly-made italian ices. The ices pair well with custards and creams for mixed treats, or serve as refreshingly cool treats on their own. The staff even take small groups on behind-the-scenes tours of their kitchens, teaching the secrets to freezing mango juice into a silky-smooth texture or milking a banana.
Tropical Trends' sunny shopkeepers fill the shelves of their cheery environs with adornments for body and home alike. Freshen interior breezes with the fragrant tendrils of hand-dipped Wild Berry incense, which uncurls 40 aromas including vanilla, sandalwood, and root beer (30 sticks for $5.50). Scented WoodWick candles ($10–$12) mimic the crackles and pops of a roaring bonfire when burned, turning innocent anecdotes into instant ghost stories. Customers can also spruce up bodies with Tropical Trends' fashions and accessories—adorning digits with elegant sterling-silver rings in sizes 5–14 ($12–$22) and bodies with breezy exotic-print skirts and dresses ($18–$26) that flutter in colorful anticipation of spring breezes and summer tornado chasing.