Owners Patrick Pezzati and Chandra Hancock opened their first Turn It Up! store in 1995 and now oversee four Western Massachusetts locations of the Valley Advocate reader-approved music emporium. Physical media of all shapes and sizes lines store shelves, including rare and out-of-print CDs, vinyl, DVDs, cassettes, and VHS tapes, and customers can trade in their own collections in exchange for cash or a fully functioning kinescope. Music lovers can also peruse a collection of posters and accessories to assist in public displays of band devotion. Select locations host in-store performances by area musicians, providing more appealing background music than store poltergeists’ attempts at doo-wop harmonies.
Behind Magical Child's enchanting green and gold, Main Street–esque storefront, sunlight floods shelves of educational and imagination-stimulating toys, books, and games. Towering stuffed animals peer down on train sets—the way Clifford the Dog peers down on real trains—and puzzles from Melissa and Doug, alongside packages of Legos and Hasbro board games. A cornucopia of colorful wares permeates the shop, in which eyes can turn in no direction without meeting the glare of an alluring item. Racks of gently used clothing outfit children of up to 6 years of age, and a selection of more mature gag gifts and brainteasers grants older patrons diversion from humdrum office lives and asparagus-steaming socials.
Frozen yogurt, though a sweet dessert, packs a nutritional punch with live probiotics that help regulate digestive health. Yogurt City combines this beneficial treat with a variety of tantalizing flavors, including georgia peach and pecan praline, to keep customers coming back.
At Matt's Sportscards & Comics, costumed heroes fly off the covers of more than 15,000 trade paperback- and hardcover-comic-book collections. Autographed trading cards shine inside glass cases, competing for face time against complete sets of Topps cards from as far back as 1962. The shop also stocks more than 500 DC and Marvel action figures that perform triple duty as displayed art, playtime pals, and personal trainers at Barbie's Dream Gym.
Voted Best New England Restaurant, Best Service, and Most Romantic Restaurant by Valley Advocate, Chandler's Restaurant bursts with a spectacular array of traditional New England surf ‘n’ turf. Dinner diners can ease into a seasonal menu with the local-goat-cheese plate, featuring toasty doubloons of crostini, augmented with caramel apple, fruit preserve, and walnut pesto ($12). Culinary artists bind a variety of locally sourced produce and meats into miraculous entree options, which include traditional New England bouillabaisse ($30), a miniature ocean of tomato, saffron, and butter broth, dotted with islands of clams and mussels, and lapping at a golden garlic-toast shore, where a fresh fillet of fish basks, slathered in lobster aioli. Lunching mouths can discuss the benefits of collecting cocktail umbrellas while tasting the menu's BBC beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips ($14.50) or an armada of sandwiches, from the Pilgrim, a mound of roast turkey breast festooned with sage dressing and cranberry sauce ($9), to the house-smoked pastrami reuben ($10.50).