Beneath the shine of 20 Lounge Nail Bar and Boutique, a singular purpose pushes it forward: to bring high-end luxury to the masses. Like a beauty-conscious cousin of Johnny Appleseed, the ever-expanding franchise has planted locations throughout California and Arizona, always pampering its clients with the same menu of services. Therapists, for instance, perform facials using Dermalogica's MicroZone products, which wash away acne, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or exfoliate the skin. Mani-pedis, on the other hand, polish and dress nails in a rainbow of available colors, rendering their surfaces complementary to freshly waxed legs or accessories such as a freshly opened box of crayons.
With the belief that the word consignment didn’t need to conjure images of dark and dingy stores stocked with stale fashions, sisters Ann and Jenny Siner opened the doors of their first upscale consignment boutique in 1991. An enthusiastic response led the sisters to expand with more locations and into different resale sectors, opening their first men’s-only store, Well Suited, in 2001.
After more than two decades in the business, the fashion-savvy sisters maintain their commitment to high-end, boutique-style consignment, earning them high praise from discerning shoppers, major press outlets such as Today, and long-pining hangers that finally get to slip on a worthy frock. Each store houses a constantly updated selection of designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Nanette Lepore, priced anywhere from 65%–95% below retail. My Sister’s Closet’s store locations dot many of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Arizona, as well as California.
At The Best Ever Subs & More, a Thanksgiving meal isn’t an annual feast. Instead, it’s a sandwich served daily, in the form of a french roll stuffed with oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and crispy onions. Nestled inside Danny’s Gourmet Market, the shop’s entire array of subs—from the Thanksgiving variety to a chicken, brie, and apple sandwich—come filled with the market’s artisanal meats and cheeses, which also top personal pizzas toasted golden brown in a brick oven. The signature gourmet sauce anoints pizzas and sandwiches alike and is dubbed the “best sauce ever” for its carefully balanced blend of garlic and herbs, rather than because the food it touches turns into money. The shop also bakes signature butter cookies, and a portion of its proceeds benefits the Lost Angels Foundation of Hope.
Emilie Davidson Hoyt's interest in natural beauty products can be traced back to a single bar of lavender soap tucked beneath her pillow. A memento from one of her father's business trips, the fragrant bar remained close to Emilie while she slept, comforting her with its calming aroma. Throughout her childhood, Emilie suffered debilitating migraines that made her ultrasensitive to the chemicals and fragrances typically found in cosmetic products. Her condition was so bad that one of her high school teachers predicted she wouldn't succeed in college or keep a steady career.
Not only did Emilie graduate from college, she went on to found her own natural skincare company, LATHER, which initially only made olive oil–based soaps. Those soaps have since been mentioned in The New York Times, and the company has gone on to produce a full line of body, face, hair, and home products, which have appeared in other renowned publications. Emilie’s products nourish customers not only at three retail locations, but also at spas, boutiques, and hotels across the globe.
LATHER’s holistic, organic-leaning products beautify users without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or animal testing, and contain paraben-free preservatives and sulfate-free cleansing agents whenever possible. They also serenade olfactory senses with essential oils, vitamins, and rare fruits and herbs, and now arrive in earth-friendly EcoPure packaging, which, unlike a mummy's “No Microbes Allowed” t-shirt, accelerates natural biodegradation. LATHER maintains environmentally conscious practices, such as an in-store container recycling program and donations to worldwide reforestation projects.
Al Ferreri, his sister Frances, and his brother-in-law Chris Pacelli Sr. developed their signature italian-beef sandwich out of necessity in 1938. The economic depression made meat harder to come by, so the trio of sandwich makers made their supplies last by cutting thinner slices of roast beef.
Their business started with them feeding guests at family weddings, delivering meals to local hospitals, and catering the country's first food fight, but they soon founded a more permanent curbside food stand in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. Despite their relatively humble beginnings, Al's Beef rapidly expanded and now boasts franchises throughout the Chicago area and across the country. The family business has garnered plentiful acclaim throughout the years, having been named Adam Richman's best sandwich in the Midwest on the Travel Channel show Best Sandwich in America in June 2012, appearing on Richman's Man v. Food and earning a place on Esquire's list of The Best Sandwiches in America in 2008.
The cooks begin every morning by roasting cuts of beef for the day and cutting french fries. The hearty italian-beef sandwiches can emerge from the kitchen with simple, unadorned meat or with blankets of melted cheese and spicy handmade giardiniera.
Feeling perhaps a little adventurous, Deirdre Pain wandered into a Thai restaurant one evening in the early 1980s. She expected to taste a few dishes she had never heard of before, but she didn’t expect to discover a lifelong obsession. Enticed by the flavorful spices and the delicate balance between sweet and salty, Pain soon became so enamored with Thai cuisine that she teamed up with a local chef to open a restaurant of her own, and in August of 1987, Malee’s on Main was born. 25 years later, Malee’s is still thriving thanks to its unique, upscale take on the traditional Thai restaurant, which includes doing some things a bit differently. All of the dishes, for example, are prepared in 10-inch sauté skillets to ensure that several people can order the same dish–-coco chili fish, crispy basil chicken, slow-roasted duck curry––and have it prepared differently. The same thoughtfulness is apparent in the restaurant’s dining areas. Comfy patios allow diners to bask in sunshine or enjoy a cool evening breeze, while cozy fireplaces accommodate those who like to swap ghost stories around a plate of crab rangoon.