Despite its rustic name, Liquor Barn purveys a wide array of sophisticated libations. Its shelves span continents with their stock—wines hail from Europe, South America, and Australia, and more than 2,000 domestic and imported beers appease hops aficionados. As for spirits, the store carries a mix of popular brands—Bacardi and Smirnoff among them—and exclusive collectibles, such as the cask-matured Auchentoshan 1975 limited-release bourbon, 1 of only 500 bottles ever produced. These coveted pieces display craftsmanship both inside and outside their containers. Tequila bottles, for example, might resemble painted skulls or ceramic cacti, instead of traditional flasks.
The staff facilitates purchases with onsite expertise. Each of the two Liquor Barn locations boasts specialists on certain types of drinks, from cognacs to craft beers. During social events, they showcase their know-how by leading pairing dinners, weekly free tastings, and cooking demonstrations along with special guests. Employees needn't be in the store to furnish parties, either: they can ferry drinks to nearby locales in a fleet of delivery trucks powered by popping champagne corks.
Ulta pampers hair with a suite of top-quality treatments, leaving coiffures sculpted and purring with delight. Hair bearers report to a stylist for a consultation, which determines how to go about the cut in regard to lifestyle, desired look, and blood type. A shampoo and specially formulated condition cleans locks and treats damaged hair, leaving cranial carpets clean and soft before cutting, and a relaxing scalp massage exhumes heads of ghosts of stress past. The expert scissor wielders carefully reshape dowdy 'dos into masterworks, and a blow-dry and style leave newly coiffed heads prepped to face judgmental mirrors.
At Bettenhausen Automotive, a phalanx of 25 to 35 technicians is on hand each day, caring for cars and speeding through an average of 480 oil changes per week. The service center welcomes roadsters of all makes and models into its modernly appointed mechanic’s shop. There, techs solve longevity-inhibiting problems and complete factory-scheduled maintenance tasks, maximizing each vehicle’s potential and performance along the way. Helmed by brothers Michael and Troy Bettenhausen, the family-run dealership has been operating for over 50 years and carries a well-waxed inventory of new and used vehicles, including the 2013 Dodge Dart.
The cobblers at Sam the Shoe Doctor mend leather with a century of know-how, amassed since the first shop opened in 1898. Damaged footwear may be brought to one of six Chicago locations or sent in blue bags from across the country to a centralized repair center. The staff's handiness with footwear also extends to nearly all leather and some fabric goods, including tattered luggage and purses distressed by their own price tags.
So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
An American tourist in Mexico might stroll by a restaurant decorated with goat horns and not give the decor a second thought. However, the horns do often signify something special: birria, a hearty mexican stew from the state of Jalisco. And while Mr. Burritos and Los Lokos Burritos may not have goat horns strung across its walls, its chefs do make the spicy, soul-warming treat—but only on weekends.
The name Mr. Burritos should give away the eatery’s other specialty, which comes in nearly 20 varieties—including two vegetarian options and two sizes, baby or giant. Similar spiced meats, such as barbacoa, steak, and carnitas, also fill tacos and chimichangas. People who weirdly enjoy mornings can stop by in the a.m. for a hearty Mexican breakfast of eggs and chorizo. Aside from inviting guests to test their heat tolerances at three locations, Mr. Burritos and Los Lokos Burritos deliver their food directly to doorsteps and can also cater events such as birthday parties and presidential debates.
What began more than 50 years ago as a single auto-repair outlet in Macon, Georgia, is known across America today as Midas. The trusted chain of car-repair shops spans 17 countries worldwide, and each location employs a skilled, reliable staff that strives to keep drivers and their families safe. This goal is perhaps best embodied by the Midas Touch Courtesy Check, a service during which technicians check fluid levels and tires for safety and check the area under the vehicle to make sure Robert De Niro isn’t trying to hitch a free ride. Once they've given vehicles the once-over, mechanics can then prescribe any necessary services to keep cars running smoothly, such as brake repair, filter changes, alignments, and engine tune-ups.