If you haven’t been down to the square recently, tomorrow would be a good day for it for two reasons. The first is Art Walk. This annual event is like Second Saturday on steroids. There will be over 150 artists converging on the square. Artists representing all kinds of different mediums – painting, pottery, photography (and other things not starting with “p”) will be in all of the various galleries and also in a lot of the shops. I spoke to Canine Cookie Company tonight and they have two artists coming in. Patina Green will have three. The energy downtown on a Second Saturday is great and Art Walk is going to be even better. For full information on Art Walk, check out the Main Street Program’s website. For great, up to date tweets on what is going on downtown and around McKinney, check out Destination McKinney on Facebook and start following @VisitMcKinney on Twitter.
The city does a marvelous job of getting info out on upcoming events so I’ll go straight to the second great reason to come down to the square : new faces. We have a lot of new businesses on the square that have opened, moved or just gotten a face lift over the past few months.
Our newest business to open is McKinney Wine Merchant on Louisiana across the street from Gregory’s Bistro. They just opened on Tuesday and I just made it by there tonight. You’re going to love it. They’re a package store, not a sit down and sip kind of place, and they carry only non-local wines. I really see them as a compliment to our square, filling a niche not previously covered and helping to make downtown McKinney the “go to” place for wine to please everyone. While I love supporting Texas wines, I have several friends who only like Napa Valley. Their prices are fantastic. Lots and lots of wines under $20 a bottle, some well under. Wines from France, from Spain, from Australia, from Africa, from California … anywhere but from here.
Of course, if you want to sit down and sip a glass, you’ll have to check out either Landon Winery or Lone Star Wine Cellars. Neither of these guys are new to downtown but the awning on Lone Star Wine Cellars is relatively new. It came in sometime after last Bike the Bricks. I just really liked this picture.
But there really are some new faces … and a lot of news.
Sharla’s is open and is, as I’ve mentioned in another post, absolutely gorgeous inside. People who would know (not me) say it’s like walking into a shop in Paris, the center of fashion and beauty. I imagine it to be a lot like something you would see on Rodeo Drive (somewhere else I’ve never been). This space was previously The Cup Filler and was one of the last old “ugly” facades to be removed and replaced with something beautiful. At last, no more corrugated tin! Or aluminum. I don’t know what the old facade was made of but it was u-g-l-y. So glad it’s gone. The new facade is fantastic.
Sharla’s old space on the corner didn’t spend much time vacant. It is the new home for Pumps.
I think that this will be a great location for Pumps. Their high end styles can be pricey but they do have some spectacular sales.
Pumps was previously in the space next door to Sauce, but that space is not vacant either. As I walked by tonight, the windows were being cleaned by the tenant who intends to reopen it sometime next month. Debra Linker currently has an Etsy Shop on-line and a blog on Blogspot. She said that they’ll start demolition inside on Monday and it will take a few weeks to get everything built and up and running. I believe that she is planning a gallery, a studio and space for giving classes but everything is fluid at this stage so we’ll need to wait and see what all comes in.
Another new business on the square that I haven’t said much about previously is a snazzy little dress shop that has come in downstairs from Brick House Yoga. I really can’t figure out the name of the business. The front window says “The Portfolio” but there is a hand written sign close to the door that suggests that the name is “Local Color”. It is connected to Facets and neither business does any on-line advertising that I have been able to find. The fact that they have been able to do as well as they have with Generation Y without an electronic presence has got to say something.
There are quite a few new boutiques connected to salons downtown that I’m not sure everyone knows about yet. The Olive Branch has some beautiful choices in accessories and was the first to offer things for men. The Olive Branch has a nice line of men’s Fossil wallets. Sharla’s is the second, offering men’s shaving supplies and other accessories.
If you like Swanky, you’ll probably like Kiss & Makeup. The boutique side of Kiss & Make-up doesn’t have a web site but they do have a Facebook page. Primp Boutique, next door to The Olive Branch, is new (ish) too. They opened up after Facets moved onto Louisiana Street.
Really, the list just goes on and on … I’m not sure how we got so many new businesses over the past year. We haven’t lost that many. We are losing one though. I’ve confirmed with Coffee N Cream that they are planning to move. They are a great deal more than just a coffee shop, you know, and the bakery side of the business has just been booming. The owner is evaluating his options and didn’t have anything picked out yet but I’ll keep checking with him to see where they are eventually going to land. Nothing is set in stone or, indeed, even chalked out, so we won’t know until later … by June. Coffee N Cream currently has a location in Allen’s Fairview Villages and another on Legacy Drive in Frisco. It sounded to me that he is taking into consideration the entire Metroplex in choosing their new site. They’ll be leaving a phenomenal little space attached to The Grand Hotel. I don’t imagine that space will stay vacant for too long either.
I’m sure by now everyone has noticed that Mama Emilia’s has closed their doors and it doesn’t look like they are going to be opening back up anytime soon. I keep meaning to call and see if I can get more information but I have, yet again, forgotten to write down the number in the window. I’ll make a note of it tomorrow.
One more shop I wanted to mention as a “Must See” is the Canine Cookie Company. They’ve got such a neat product, I am really surprised to have not seen more mention of them popping up on the Internet. Like Mom & POPcorn Candy Company (which may actually have more on-line reviews that any of our tourist attractions) and Loco Cowpoke Salsa Shop, this business is uniquely “McKinney”. They make “all natural” treats for dogs. They also carry a lot of really cute and reasonably priced dog-influenced items that are just adorable. I’m a cat person myself, so I naturally gravitated to the “No Cats Allowed” bowl. I thought it was cute. It’s worth mentioning though that, while Canine Cookie Company is all about dogs, they aren’t hard hearted towards us cat lovers. I talked to the Mrs. one time about the squirrel shaped dog treats they offer and thought it was sweet that she didn’t think it was a good idea to make cat shaped treats.
They carry a series of matching cookie jars, salt & pepper shakers and nightlights featuring dogs in antique cars.
One more neat item and I’ll log off until this weekend. This isn’t the best picture but this is the cutest clock ever! It’s a pretty ceramic clock shaped like a dog’s head and barks three times each hour. The owner ran the hands to the hour mark for me so I could hear it and it’s really cute (not obnoxious at all). If we were closer to Christmas and I knew what my office was going to do party-wise, I would have bought one now to give then. I am surrounded by dog lovers so this would be a safe gift to give to virtually anyone at work. Ideal for a blind exchange even.
So, that’s it for me, for now. I’ll be on the square tomorrow but I plan to be relaxing with friends and taking in the art. I’ll try to post if I come back with anything good.
Don’t forget the start following @VisitMcKinney on Twitter. I’m not connected to the city. It’s just a really good resource for keeping up with stuff going on in McKinney. It’s what they do. This is just a personal blog by a McKinney resident absolutely in love with the square.
Until next time,
p.s. If you are a downtown merchant reading this, please, for Pete’s sake, hook your Facebook up to Twitter. I’ve found over 65 Facebook pages for businesses on the square. The Facebook app is great but Twitter is so much more user-friendly on a phone!