Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Style in the City

Since this is a blog about retail and style, I’m going to talk about my top five (in no particular order) picks for stylish bars and restaurants in this week’s post. For a city of our size, we are lucky to have the sheer selection of eateries and cool places to hang out. If you’ve been to these places, let me know what you think, and if you haven’t—well, go!

Paul’s Club
Although the décor isn’t much (dark paneling mostly), this hipster watering hole has an awesome tree smack-dab in the middle of the joint strung with Christmas lights. Love it! It certainly gets crowded on a Friday or Saturday night, which attests to its popularity with some college students and more typically, an older crowd that’s not as rowdy. You also can’t beat the music: I’ve heard Al Green, and on more than one occasion, Michael Jackson.
212 State St. 257-5250

Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace
I make no secret of the fact that I’m attracted to sparkly and/or metallic things. Silver or gold heels, necklaces, hoops—I’ve got ‘em all. That’s why I like Tex Tubb’s on Atwood Ave. It’s décor screams kitsch and good old-fashioned fun. Check out the futuristic light fixture with silver spokes above the bar, or perhaps the large plastic “gems” that are affixed to the light fixture in the bar area. The wallpaper in the women’s bathroom is delightfully tacky too: pink with cartoon cowgirls and cowboys and accented with rickrack. It seems the whole place implicitly encourages customers to let their hair down. Have a margarita and munch on a quesadilla, chips and salsa and of course, tacos galore.
2009 Atwood Ave. 242-1800.

Natt Spil
This über-trendy place is where the fashionable people go. The lights are low and the scene is jumping. When it’s warm, the windows swing open and people spill over on to the sidewalk to sit outside and talk. Inside, look up and check out the mod ceiling panels accented with Chinese symbols, and the bar’s cool lanterns. Venture to the very back of the small-ish bar/restaurant and sit in the intimate room where tree stumps serve as some of the stools and you can swing the curtain closed for those mysterious rendezvous.
211 King St. No phone.

If Cocoliquot was a woman, it would be a polished socialite with that impeccable outfit, handbag, cocktail ring and of course, the flawless manicure. The French restaurant’s atmosphere is one that just might prompt you to kiss a friend on both cheeks when you greet them for drinks, European-style. The sunny yellow and reddish-orange walls blend with blond wood and contrast with cool stainless steel appliances for a comfortably approachable, yet rich, look. What to order? The chocolates, made daily, and of course, a cocktail like the Bumblebee or Pink Sangria.
225 King St. 255-2626.

Eno Vino
This far west side restaurant injects big-city ambiance into a strip mall, believe it or not. Walk in and be instantly impressed with the beautiful décor: low lighting, warm walls, leather banquettes, the open kitchen and dark wood bar, beautifully stocked with a vast selection of wines and liquors, perfect for any cocktail you could imagine. I think Eno Vino’s attention to design is a concept that’s worth replicating as new establishments open in our fine city.
601 Junction Rd. 664-9565.

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