In 1913, German-born Carl Braunhart debuted a shop of high-quality cycles that eventually migrated stateside and, over the years, traded hands to his great-grandson. In 1980, Fred Feller bought the shop from the Braunhart family, and when his son, Darren, graduated from college, Carl Hart Bicycles once again became a multigenerational family business.
Today, Fred and Darren's staff of factory-certified technicians and cycling enthusiasts, some with backgrounds in semiprofessional racing, help patrons sift through an impressive inventory of quality bicycles from top industry brands such as Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale. Most two-wheelers come in five to eight sizes for myriad heights, and staffers measure customers to find the best fit. But when a traditional bicycle won't suffice, they send measurements to Seven Cycles or Guru factories, where workers craft customized frames. Custom-fit bikes contour to riders' bodies, cushioning the stress of frequent biking and the need to throw bikes at slow-moving pedestrians.
Before committing to any purchase, customers are encouraged to take a test spin around the parking lot or stop by on Demo Days. On these days, bike manufacturers bring their cycles to the store and patrons can try them on for size as they pop wheelies over unassuming companions or traverse miles of mountain trails that branch out from the shop. On Saturdays, Darren or an assistant manager takes groups of up to 35 cyclists on 36-mile excursions. Afterwards, athletes refuel with bagels at the shop.
The Ultimate Dance Zone readies two-steppers of all ages for the spotlight with full lines of dance apparel, accessories, and footwear. Since 2003, the business has aspired to be a one-stop shop for dancers, gymnasts, and cheerleaders alike, offering the latest styles by brands such as Capezio, Eurotard, Nike Cheer, Gia-Mia, and more. If, while navigating the colorful clusters of leotards, tights, and bags, customers are unable to find what they’re looking for, friendly staffers can order it for them. They also provide professional shoe fittings for burgeoning ballerinas who like to ensure their feet don’t need whittling down to a more manageable point before making a purchase.
Car owners, aspiring car owners, and those who've married into a family of Durangos can take care of their wheeled ones' needs at Family Automotive Service Center. Oil changes, tire rotations, and other basic maintenance needs can all be addressed. They also buy and sell used cars in need of a change of scenery.
It’s been 40 years since the Ferraro family opened Plaza Surf N Sports, and today its inventory of sporting goods and apparel only continues to expand. The staff of sports enthusiasts is on hand to help patrons navigate the selection and can assist with everything from fitting and sizing hockey equipment to finding the right skateboard deck. The shop also handles team orders and trophies, ideal for local youth teams or professionals that lost a championship but really want a trophy anyway.
Plaza Surf N Sports’ Montauk location specializes in watersports, stocking a large selection of bathing suits, goggles, and surfboards. Day rentals outfit trips to the shore with surfboards, boogie boards, kayaks, and beach chairs, which are more relaxing for wave riding than conventional surfboards.
It's a bit anticlimactic to spend the afternoon painting a beautiful piece of pottery, only to have to wait several days to come back and pick it up once it's been fired. There is no wait at PlasterKraze?the company's paintable pieces are made of plaster instead of ceramic, and don't need to be fired in a kiln after glazing, which means customers can take their creation home with them the same day. Painting parties are available for both adults and kids, though the latter can also choose from parties where they play dress-up, decorate t-shirts, make candy, and design their own teddy bears. Meanwhile, those who want to paint plaster on their own time or planet can pick up one of PlasterKraze's take-home kits, which includes a plaster piece, paints, brushes, and glaze.