While trekking across New Zealand, Matt Baker and PJ Lamont stumbled upon a burger shack in Queenstown and immediately became addicted to the eatery’s organic, grass-fed beef patties. According to a profile in Beach & Bay Press, the duo often dined there more than once a day and eventually convinced the chef to both part with his recipes and train them how to make them. Upon returning home, the pair recruited PJ’s brother Martin for their budding endeavor: a gourmet burger place that would rely entirely on organic, grass-fed beef from New Zealand. After finding the right spot for their gastropub, the three put their own sweat into renovating it; PJ carved the wooden menu himself without using a woodpecker even once.
That menu quickly garnered its fair share of media buzz and awards by combining beef patties, ground fresh daily, with unique ingredients such as pesto aioli, grilled pineapple, and beetroot. Organic, local vegetables make up the condiments and the house tomato chutney, New Zealand’s hardier version of ketchup. But Bare Back Grill does more than burgers, satisfying appetites with natural chicken and lamb, tempura tofu, and seared ahi tuna coupled with a wide selection of beers and wines. Guests can gulp down Kiwi Steinlagers or sip Australian and New Zealand wines while lounging at either Bare Back location.
Black and bubblegum hues flow in retro pinstripe patterns throughout Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, where dedicated groomers carefully cleanse and style dogs of all breeds and sizes. The team treat their canine clients with upscale products such as Apple & Oats conditioner and South Bark blueberry facials. In addition to full-service and do-it-yourself cleansing stations, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe has an in-store boutique and a pet hotel for small dogs. The boutique features accessories by Juicy Couture, Fluff, Puppia, Merrick, and Gooby, and the pet hotel indulges miniature guests with 400-thread-count pillow beds, a large, fenced backyard, and room service that delivers breakfast along with the morning squeaky newspaper.
Sharpened ice skates trace paths around La Jolla Ice Town's icy interiors, offering a wintry change of pace from the temperate San Diego climate. Open seven days a week for open skate, the sports center spruces up laps around the rink with a live DJ paired with disco lights every Friday and Saturday night.
Professional coaches also tutor skaters on elegant stops, turns, and crossovers during figure-skating classes and teach athletes to maneuver pucks during youth and adult hockey clinics. Additionally, family-friendly activities, such as birthday parties, broomball, hockey games, and an annual ice show, attract visitors and inspire them to transform a jacuzzi tub into a personal-size skating rink.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
For those with or without green thumbs, Armstrong Garden Center is an oasis for all things green and growing that enables customers to create the landscape of their dreams. The company’s roots go back to 1889 when John Armstrong started growing eucalyptus trees and olive trees in Southern California. In the Rancho Penasquito’s center, the educated and friendly staff makes the experience of trying to decide whether to plant low water perennials or blossoming apple trees a pleasure. Beyond being a place to purchase plants, pots, trellises, trees, fountains and fertilizer, Armstrong’s offers home visits and landscaping services, free garden classes, planting guides and more.
Like fancy suits, sofa sets are sewn from the same cut of fabric. These matching sets provide a well-rounded look in living rooms, but near misses tend to clash due to their small differences. At 20 show rooms throughout the western US, Mor Furniture for Less arranges complete-room sets so customers can envision the collections in their own homes. Furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, and children's rooms can be found in each store along with individual lamps, tables, and entertainment centers. The stores also carry complete sets of beds, dressers, and nightstands so that homeowners don’t receive criticism from design bloggers in their dreams.