Dickens wasn’t the only big thing to happen downtown this past weekend. Goodies, the new toy and candy shop on the square, opened this weekend too. The place was absolutely packed all weekend so that I couldn’t get a shot so I stopped in Tuesday evening to chat with the owners. All I can say is that McKinney’s spell has fallen over another wonderful couple and we will all be reaping the rewards.
The Lanios have run a successful toy and candy store in Rhode Island for almost a decade. When they came to our area, they looked at Watters Creek, the Shoppes at Legacy, and all the usual places. The square won them over, lucky for us.
Their plan was to have a full opening for Dickens but they were running a little behind schedule. The shelves are packed with stuffed animals, jigsaw puzzles, games, toys and bags of old-fashioned candies but what the Lanios are most anxious about is getting their chocolate-making up and running. That should be any day now, maybe even tomorrow. Chocolate is what they do. They’ll be making the chocolate on-site. Chocolate Santas, chocolate bunnies, nut clusters, chocolate pretzels … and according to their Rhode Island store’s website, chocolate apples.
Candy aside, the toy selection is really good. Remember the Easy-Bake ovens? Well, Goodies has a kid’s pottery wheel set. What a great gift idea for such an artsy community! Wow. Just wow.
Although we chatted for quite awhile, I completely forgot to ask them whether or not they had a website or Facebook page. I’m making plans to go back this weekend though to see the chocolates in production. Alex says he’ll be busy. He has to make his entire inventory from scratch.
Goodies will be trying out some later hours at least through December. Look for them to be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until around 7 PM.
Two other storefronts opened within doors of each other just before Dickens. Ruggeri’s Ristorante has officially opened in the space that was previously Mama Emilia’s, across the street from The McKinney Wine Merchant. They have their menus posted on the windows and it looks like the average entrée is in the mid 20’s with some in the low 30’s. According to the Wine Merchant, management wears a suit and tie and the staff are dressed in black so we are thinking that they have a dress code.
Just a couple of doors down, Anomaly Shop has opened for business as well. They are in the space that was previously Scrappy Chic Boutique. They have redone the space and opened in record time. Owner Amy Torres is proud to carry original goods by local artisans at affordable prices. She has an excellent selection already and she said that new artists are coming in steadily, joking that, between inventory turnover and new artists, it will be a whole new store every couple of months. Her officially posted hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 to 6 and Sundays from 12 to 4 but she says that she may open earlier or close later, depending on what the day brings.
Wares run the gamut from furniture to wine bottles skillfully recycled as wind chimes. A selection of knit winter caps on a center table are hand made by a local 11-year old who donates a percentage of her sales to charity. Each and every item in the store is unique and local.
The rumor about a Paul Mitchell salon coming to the square is true. The Fringe Factory will be coming in on the corner of Louisiana and Tennessee where Smitten used to be. There is very little information out about this yet and I’ll keep an ear open to hear more.
On the same block, Primp Salon is expanding. Although they have been on the square for awhile now, I still haven’t been inside and I’m looking forward to their larger space. Each time I went by previously, it seemed that there was always someone already browsing and, though the storefront is inviting, it was just too small. It doesn’t look like that is going to be a problem now!
Louisiana Street Grill will be opening soon. The last I heard, they were trying to be open by December 15th.
I’ve also heard a rumor that there may be a yogurt place coming in on Virginia Street over by My Favorite Room. My source was fuzzy on the name … thought it might be “Very Berry”. I’ll be looking for signs of construction for that this weekend.
The Sample Shop, currently snuggled between The Canine Cookie Company and Artisanal Food Lover’s Market, will be closing as Barbie and Bob take a well-deserved retirement. Barbie has manned the desk there seven days a week for many years and will be sorely missed. She is currently having a 50% off sale and I understand the store will be closing within the next few weeks.
Until next time,