Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2010
Our readers and critics pick their favorites.
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Kids’ Clothing: Children’s Clothing Patch
You’ll know how much fun it is to dress your little ones every time you walk into this oh-so-cute boutique. Play clothes share space with special-occasion frocks for toddlers and the big kid set—with sizes up to 10 for girls, up to 7 for boys. You’ll also find a wide variety of pink and blue gifts to welcome that new bundle of joy. 163 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne; (610) 971-5102, childrensclothingpatch.com.
Makeup Emporium: Bluemercury
This bountiful beauty boutique carries all of the top names, including Trish McEvoy, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Nars. Bluemercury’s associates are well-versed in every line, and it regularly hosts workshops and master classes featuring representatives from the companies themselves—who just might just divulge a few tricks of the trade to help you in your quest to look flawless. Suburban Square, 42 St. James Place, Ardmore; (610) 642-5400, bluemercury.com.
Mother’s Little Helper: SignUpForCamp.com
Golf camp or tennis? Theater or ballet? One week or one month? These questions and more are the bane of parents come spring and summertime. For the stressed-out and info-deprived, there’s Signupforcamp.com, which supplies all the registration forms and resources for camps from here to California. Guests can search by city, activity and duration, or simply give their kids the mouse and let them create their own summer fun. SignUpForCamp.com.
Never-Say-Die Indie Institution: TLA Video
At a time when the big box stores are closing in bunches, TLA Video in Bryn Mawr continues to thrive. The area’s largest independent video store chain for more than 25 years, it remains a haven for picky movie-seekers, those searching out off-beat flicks and anyone who’d rather peruse the new releases in-person than wait for a red envelope to arrive in the mail. Its friendly staffers are all serious movie lovers who aren’t afraid to make their opinions known. And that’s good news for the hopelessly indecisive. 761 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 520-1222, tlavideo.com.
Outdoor Shopping: Mecca Clover Market
Interior designer Janet Gardner Long thought the Main Line was in need of an upscale, vintage outdoor market similar to the famed Brooklyn Flea Market and those in London. Her instincts proved to be dead-on. Clover Market is attracting customers from throughout the Tri-State area and beyond—all in search of “finds for the home” like antique furniture and lighting, original art, home accessories and collectibles, architectural salvage, and more. Schauffele Plaza, Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, clovermarket.blogspot.com.
*Party Band (Readers’ Pick): Jelly Roll
*Party DJ (Readers’ Pick): Schaffer Sound Productions
Personal Assistant: Bizzy Concierge
Behind every busy exec is a sharp assistant making it all possible. Enter D.C. transplant Elizabeth “Bizzy” Chance and her team of can-doers, who are willing and eager to accommodate just about any (legal) request. Want a medium-well steak for a takeout dinner? Done. Need to mail a package but can’t wait in line? Taken care of. Any practical aspect of running a business and maintaining a social calendar—from personal gift shopping to bill paying to home management—is handled with professionalism and efficiency by Bizzy. (610) 551-9630, bizzyconcierge.com.
Personal Organizer: Darla DeMorrow at HeartWork Organizing
To some extent, we all need a Darla DeMorrow in our lives. The professional organizer and owner of Wayne’s HeartWork Organizing will come right to your home or business. Through consulting or actual hands-on organizing, her goal is to help you regain control of your space, whether it involves organizing a closet, establishing a filing system or something, well, a little more complex. (856) 905-3202, heartworkorg.com.
Place for Building a Backyard Retreat: Ultimate Patios
These days, stylish furniture and comfy “deep seating” extends to outside spaces. This family-run business goes one step further by offering customized patio sets—your choice of cushion fabric, chair style, color or finish. And they carry everything you need to go with it. Hal Marinaro has 20 years of experience as a grill expert, while his wife, Gail, and daughter Michelle oversee three large display areas. 1151 McDermott Drive, West Chester; (610) 430-2171, ultimatepatios.com.
*Place for Private Parties and Receptions (Readers’ Pick): Appleford Estate
770 Mt. Moro Road, Villanova; (610) 527-4280, applefordestate.com.
Place for Special Events: Drexelbrook Catering & Corporate Events Center
For mitzvahs, proms, weddings and any other special event that needs a host site for the evening, Drexelbrook is the perfect mix of modern style and traditional charm. The luxe Grand Ballroom easily accommodates 300-plus guests for hours of dancing, cocktails and outdoor strolls among the fountains and gardens, while the scenic gazebo is perfect for “I do.” 4700 Drexelbrook Drive, Drexel Hill; (610) 259-7000, drexelbrookcatering.com.
Place to Find Cool Stuff for the Home: Hipster Home
The coolest of the cool turn to Hipster Home for décor options ranging from wine accessories to sectional sofas. Clean, modern furniture, quirky accessories, sleek lighting fixtures and artsy welcome mats combine for a retail atmosphere that’s simply right-on. 237 Bridge St., Phoenixville; (610) 917-0121, hipsterhome.com.
Place to Pamper Your Pet: Buzzy’s Bow Wow Meow
There’s something on every pet’s wish list at Buzzy’s—whether it’s gourmet dog treats or a crystal-studded collar. More than 20 varieties of pet food line the shelves, including premium brands for birds, hamsters and gerbils. Be sure to stop by on weekends for Dog Adoption Days. 701 Montgomery Ave., Narberth; (610) 617-3300, buzzysbowwowmeow.com.
Place to Rediscover the Classics: Showcase Comics
You’ll find little, if any, “BAM! BOOM! POW!” in this shop. The experts at Showcase know the difference between cartoon stereotypes and the real deal they specialize in. Their selection of new comics includes independent titles and rare issues you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else nearby. Collectors pore over the impressive inventory of back issues and graphic novels. 874 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-6236.
Pottery: Our American Heritage
Hosts in search of the perfect vessel will relish the one-of-a-kind—and often signed—artisan pottery at Our American Heritage. Its vast inventory includes precious Russian porcelain, stoneware from France, Ireland, Spain and Italy, an exquisite Polish collection, salt-glazed Rowe works, Chesapeake Bay dishes, Bennington pottery from Vermont, and Lancaster County redware. Paoli Shopping Center, 23 Leopard Road, Paoli; (610) 695-8151, amerheritage.com.
Printer: Professional Duplicating
Business cards to labels, newsletters to DVD reproduction—there’s not much Professional Duplicating can’t do. While it may seem like they’re all business at ProDupe, the staff can also assist with stationery and invitations for special events. And if travel plans arise, they do postcards and posters. 33 E. State St., Media; (610) 891-7979, produpe.com.
Retail Re-Branding Effort: Eagle Village Shops
While other retailers were lamenting the slow economy of the past two years, the execs behind Spread Eagle Village were reinstating it as the retail jewel of the Main Line. They took a risk and relaunched the “lifestyle center” with the new name, Eagle Village Shops (doesn’t that sound so much better?), recruiting new retailers like Skirtin’ Around and restaurants like the Silverspoon. 503 W. Lancaster Ave., Strafford, theshopsofsev.com.