The Vino Gallery—located in a renovated police substation in the Central West End—houses an impressive selection of small-production and artisan wines, beers, and other libations amid an ever-evolving collection of local art. The staff guides visitors to the tasting bar or the outdoor patio, allowing guests to sample selections and avoid pouring wines they don’t like into a roommate’s humidifier. Rachael Buehrer, wine enthusiast and educator, and coowner Alex Head, promote informed wine consumption with complimentary tastings after 5 p.m., Monday–Friday, and all day on Saturday. One-hour wine classes lend imbibers further wine expertise, and the wine-of-the-month club helps customers branch out from go-to varietals.
Step inside the bright, sunny space of Mary Jane's boutique and browse the eclectic selection of name-brand, handmade, and locally designed merchandise. Originally opened as a shoe store, Mary Jane's ample selection of foot-wrappers remains a primary focus, featuring Ugg sandals ($115), Jeffrey Campbell sandals ($99), Seychelles, Naughty Monkey, Havaianas, and many more (shoes range from $49 to $169). Lest your other body parts feel neglected, handbags and glad rags line the racks and fill the shelves of the multifaceted shop. Secure your arm to your shoulder with an Echo bag ($65), or envelope your upper half in a Scrapbook top ($65). Other featured clothing designers include Corey Lynn Calter, Level99, Blank, Sheila Fajl, and more. Tops range from $29 to $99, dresses are $69 to $159, and jewelry is $18 to $98.
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.
Originally opened by owner Hillary Dutcher in Columbus, Ohio, Ivy Hill Boutique packs its cozy shop with women’s jewelry, apparel, and accessories from both well-known and emerging designers. Shoppers of every primping preference can adorn themselves in Idylle novelty tees ($48), fend off winged monkeys with a Tolani scarf ($78), and store their valuable Confederate scrip in Delux wallets ($26). Otherwise, wrap yourself in finery from Trina Turk and Susana Monaco (both starting at $70) to draw admiring stares from every passerby and envious stares from every naked passerby. Jewelry lovers, meanwhile, can bedazzle themselves with agate rings ($28), Viv and Ingrid birthstone stud earrings ($18), and David Aubrey initial necklaces ($48). One quick wallop from a Big Buddha handbag ($70 and up) is enough to dispatch up to seven shoplifters at a time, after which you can wash your hands of the whole affair with Gianna Rose soaps ($12 and up) and light a sage candle ($26 and up) in memory of your favorite Star Wars stormtrooper.
Boutique/83 co-owners Chad Roundtree and Perchelle O’Boyle feed dapper dressers a steady diet of fashion-forward attire and accessories from more than 30 designer brands. Boutique/83’s neon-green door guides chain-weary shoppers out of a stormy sea of sameness into a pool of carefully culled designer fashions. Garment geared guys can satiate their body’s need for style with items such as the button-downable Ben Sherman Sportster ($48), or bottom-half basics such as Modern Amusement plaid-print shorts ($45). Fashionable females can treat their torsos to a Rebecca Beeson tee ($35), lavish their lower limbs with Robert Rodriguez chocolate pants ($90), or bedeck their bodies in an Yana K brown multi-print dress ($50), ideal adornment for dressy occasions, such as a 30-year preschool reunion. In addition, a line up of jewelry, handbags, watches, and ties stand at attention, ready to be a wearable wingman at a moment’s notice.