- NEW FRONTIERS: Outdoor outlet.
Newness abounds this week: New stores opening their doors, old stores moving to new locations.
I'll start with an update on Pleasant Ridge Town Center, which I hadn't visited in awhile. It's filling up, slowly but surely, with a variety of local boutiques, both new and transplanted:
Frontiers Adventure Outlet, a locally owned new outdoors store, opened a couple of weeks ago. This is the place to go if you're planning a “River Runs Through It” trip to Montana — rugged clothes, old-style Filson canvas rucksacks, even leather-covered flasks, plus enormous beds for your dog. But there's also some really stylish women's clothing from Patagonia: knit sundresses and halter tops, Capri pants. Just the thing if you've got a campfire-side dinner date. Other lines include Mountain Khakis, Keen shoes, Marmot and Patagonia backpacks, Barbour, Cloudveil and Orvis.
Warren's Shoes, Beyond Cotton and Vesta's are all open now, as are Burnett's Interiors and a Hallmark Gold Crown store.
Moving east, Justice Just for Girls is now open at Midtowne. This is a chain clothing store for girls ages 7-14, owned by the same company that owns Limited Too.
And the long-awaited Lewis and Clark Outfitters outdoor store has a “now hiring” sign in the window, so it's safe to assume it'll be opening sometime soon. This is almost a hometown company — it's based in Northwest Arkansas, and has locations in Springdale and Rogers. The store carries everything for outdoor fun: cycling, canoeing/kayaking, hiking and camping, climbing, the whole shebang. Check out gooutandplay.com for a preview.
Across the street, Wet Seal returned to Park Plaza earlier this month. It's a contemporary-apparel chain.
In the Heights, the Yarn Mart is enjoying all kinds of elbow room in its new, larger location just a couple doors down from the old one. The store is much easier to navigate now, and there's so much space they've added a ton of new yarns to the inventory.
If you're a shoe freak, don't miss Scarpe, a new women's footwear and handbags store right next to Yarn Mart. They don't have the largest selection, but owner Suzanne Clark is featuring merchandise that's not available elsewhere in Little Rock, so it's worth checking out. And the prices are surprisingly reasonable for the neighborhood.
Mark your calendar: On May 19, get up early for the grand opening of Old Mexico Imports at 1817 Rebsamen Park Road. It's the latest venture for Rebekah Hardin, owner of Nu Cuisine Lounge, and will be open from 7 a.m. to noon every third Saturday of the month. An invitation promises garden pottery, vases and urns, religious icons, folk art, tin and Spanish tile mirrors, dinnerware and home accessories, rustic pine furniture and more.
Finally, if you're planning a party or need to send out some thank-you notes, a new web-based local business called Noteshack.com allows you to customize stationery from your desktop, with 10 percent of proceeds going to the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Auxiliary.
News? Send it on.