Jesse Rijos and Daisy Rullan purchased Inlet Wines in 2010 and immediately began revamping the retail space’s vibe. Though the shop remains true to its original purpose—pairing customers with craft beer, cigars, and wines from Argentina, Italy, Spain, and Napa Valley—it also now houses a lounge area where customers can listen to live music each weekend. In addition, the space hosts once-monthly comedy shows and Wednesday-evening happy hours to counteract the bad mood that results from inadvertently tossing your dirty dishes in the dryer. All gatherings at Inlet Wines spill out onto a patio where guests can puff on purchased cigars.
With two locations, an accommodating staff of floral designers and artists, and more than 30 years in the business, Crafts & Stuff has carved out a respected place in the Palm Beach arts-and-crafts community. Art and craft supplies range from Prismacolor markers to jewelry-making kits, and share shelf space with an array of wedding accouterments. Nearlyweds can rent custom floral pieces and artists can bring in their glitter and macaroni masterpieces to be immortalized by custom framers who ply their trade on site.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been buying and selling new and used sports and exercise equipment. They are keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Easton, Wilson, Nautilus and Schwinn, make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball, golf, soccer to lacrosse and football. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear?including bicycles?and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.