Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
Que Blankenship, owner of Plush Hair Lounge, keeps her eye on a wide variety of sources for inspiration, from couture catwalks to classic starlets to edgy urban settings. Whatever the look, she works to make it accessible to her clients' lifestyles by selecting flattering hues, enhancing the hair?s natural motion with cuts, and sculpting styles that stay sultry with little attention. Before stylists begin any treatment, they make good on the promise implicit in Plush Hair Lounge?s name by providing customers with a complimentary glass of wine and a scalp massage whose motions mimic the brain waves produced by dreams about cuddling a cloud. When Que and her staff aren't subduing frizz with keratin treatments, lengthening locks with extensions, or crafting special-occasion updos for proms and weddings, they teach clients how to keep their hair healthy with at-home regimens.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its spartan facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneaker to treadmill or lift their first weight, personal trainers meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting a personalized, 60-day fitness plan based on each client?s strength, cardio condition, and bionic limb manufacturer. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthy eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Certified personal trainers work individually with clients routinely, whereas solo treadmill joggers or stationary-bike cyclists keep company with cardio TV theaters during their long treks to nowhere.
Since 2006, ice-bound visitors have laced up their hockey and figure skates and shined their curling rocks before taking to the rinks at Extreme Ice Center. The center?s pair of NHL regulation-size rinks hosts public-skating sessions each day of the week, as well as private figure-skating lessons, broomball and curling matches, and USA Hockey?sanctioned programs for youths and adults. The center is the practice facility of the American Hockey League?s Charlotte Checkers.
Off the ice, visitors will find a fitness center and ballet academy, as well as Center Ice Tavern, located between the ice rinks. It slings chicken wings, quesadillas, and draft beers to help skaters overcome the hunger developed during a multihour sit spin.
The gentle breeze from an outdoor patio wafts the scents of certified Angus grilled steaks and seafood dishes throughout City Tavern's dining rooms, where guests gather to celebrate milestones with dishes that are at once elegant and familiar. Crackling fireplaces cast a soft glow that illuminates meals of sophisticated comfort cuisine featuring high-quality ingredients, such as seafood-stuffed eggplant with roasted red pepper cream sauce and build-your-own bison burgers. Back in the kitchen, chefs age Angus steaks for 21 days to unlock a mature flavor that can stand beside one of 45 specialty martinis without getting carded. The bar serves dinner and small bites—including fried cheesecake and vegetarian hummus with toasted pita points.
A team of skillful hairdressers and massage therapists dwells behind Studio U Salon & Spa's light-brick façade, where a bright purple sign welcomes patrons to a world in which beauty services abound. Trained stylists detach split ends, brighten crowns with highlights, and add bouncy layers to hairdos to help patrons update their looks before starting a new job or ending a relationship with a twin. Skin treatments include waxes and a variety of massage modalities help to keep bodies in a state of relaxation, much like a samurai warrior in battle. Pedicures and manicures cloak nails in vibrant colors, and acrylics keep shy keratin sheets under wraps.