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Issue Date: May 2014 Issue


Downtown Kent

Here are a dozen spots to get you started.
by James Bigley II

1 | The Works: Part gallery, part warehouse of wonderful objects, this shop has an enormous collection of assorted trinkets (think candleholders), functional household wares (think brightly colored frames and vases), and decorations (think lawn gnomes) from more than 80 local artists. 130 E. Main St., 330-673-6373

2 | The Empire of Magical Thought: Get into the spirit at this mystical boutique offering henna supplies, Murano glass jewelry and hand-carved barrettes and combs made from water buffalo horn and bone. Tarot card readings and henna body painting occur weekly. 135 E. Main St., 330-968-4946, empirekent.com

3 | 4Cats Arts Studio: Learn the basics of throwing clay or follow in the style of artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe at this studio, which offers workshops, camps and art-themed parties. 144 E. Main St., 330-677-8575, 4cats.com/acornalley

4 | Off The Wagon Shop: Celebrate the kid in all of us with this wacky toy store full of novelty items such as candy cigarettes and Troll dolls as well as comics, board games and gag gifts for bacon lovers and mustache aficionados. 152 E. Main St., 330-474-1330, offthewagonshop.com

5 | Twisted Meltz: With roasted peppers, caramelized onions, sliced Kalamata olives, spinach, goat cheese, balsamic glaze and arugula pesto, the Ben Curtis ($6.49) — named for the Kent State grad and U.S. Open champ — is one of 19 gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches served here. 164 E. Main St., 330-968-4104, twistedmeltz.com

6 | Laziza: Offering house-made, hand-rolled wraps, kabobs and an assortment of fresh seafood, Jordan native Michael Awad's Mediterranean restaurant was the first to open in Acorn Alley, the city's new retail area, back in 2011. 195 E. Erie St., 330-677-7000, yourlaziza.com

7 | Wild Earth Outfitters: Take on the elements by stocking up on hammocks, tents, sleeping bags, kayaks, climbing gear and more at this outdoor store. 175 E. Erie St., 330-677-1948, wildearthoutfitters.com

8 | Tree City Coffee and Pastry: If you need a rustic retreat from city life, look no further than this community coffee shop where organic peanut butter is made in-house and 20 organic, fair-trade vegan wines are available for less than $20. 135 E. Erie St., Suite 101, 330-673-5522, rootedinkent.com

9 | Bar145: Known for inventive dishes such as the poached salmon BLT, this gastropub has become the center of the city's nightlife with more than 30 varieties of bourbon and live local bands performing Thursday through Saturday. 100 E. Erie St., Suite 130, 330-968-6201, bar145kent.com

10 | Yogurt Vi: Create your own frozen treat with more than 80 rotating flavors such as French toast and 60 different toppings, including watermelon, mini buckeyes and jelly beans, at this high-end yogurt shop. 295 S. Water St., Suite 120, 330-677-1162, yogurtvi.com

11 | One Love Yoga and Boutique: A one-stop-shop for positivity, this Vinyasa yoga studio shares space with a Robeks smoothie shop and carries fair-trade, eco-friendly clothing and yoga accessories. 295 S. Water St., Suite 108, 330-842-7228, oneloveyogakent.com

12 | Carnaby Street Style: Emma Day offers only six of each item in her London-inspired boutique to provide an exclusive shopping experience and a rotating collection of casual men's and women's clothing. 100 E. Erie St., Suite 122, 330-677-2992, carnabystreetstyle.com


Quick Picks

Here's what caught our eye in the downtown Kent neighborhood.

The Stelvis ($5.50), Tree City Coffee and Pastry: Named after Kent's own Elvis impersonator, this twist on the throwback sandwich is made with bananas, bacon, honey and organic honey-roasted peanut butter.

I Heart Guts ($19.99), Off The Wagon Shop: These whimsical plush toys range in size and resemble all of your most important inner organs.

Honeypot Luminaries ($24.95), The Works: Handcrafted from raw beeswax, these candleholders produce a natural honey aroma and are perfect for a last-minute Mother's Day gift.


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