We have been granted permission to reprint blog entries by Rebekah Askew of The Girl on Main. While the seasons aren’t matching up, we felt it was logical to post her writings in order. Perhaps thoughts of football and chilly weather will distract you from our current blazing heat!
Finally, a day arrived when football and cheerleading, as much as I love them, weren’t dragging me from one town to another, and I could do something else I love–browse our downtown stores with my seven-year-old daughter.
In Claremore, our downtown or Main Street district is on Will Rogers Boulevard, and since I moved here in 2004 it has evolved tremendously. At the time of my arrival in the community, the Main Street was vastly empty save a couple of antique stores, the local favorite Dot’s Cafe, and Ann’s Cleaners.
As I walked down the street today, though, with a crisp autumn chill in the air, I found myself smiling contentedly at the store fronts around me, not just because there are a number of them to choose from, but because they offer such a variety of options. It’s easy to come and spend a pleasant Saturday afternoon here in Claremore on our Main Street, and to help you see just how pleasant it is, let me walk you through a day.
First of all, come a little early and enjoy breakfast in one of our Main Street restaurants. For early morning fare, you can find a reasonable and delicious meal at long-established Dot’s Cafe or at the 50’s-inspired Boom-A-Rang Cafe. Both offer a variety of breakfast items that will leave you satisfied without lightening your wallet so much that you won’t be able to enjoy spending some money downtown.
Once you’ve satisfied your morning appetite, hit the streets for a great day of shopping. For years, it seems, our Main Streets have been associated with great antiques, and that still remains true for Claremore. If it’s antiques you’re after, we have a number of stores that will keep you busy looking for the treasures of years past.
|Polish Pottery Bowl from booth at Sailor’s Antiques|
Starting on the west end of the downtown shopping district, browse the stalls of the Hudson-Metcalf Antique Mall. Then cross the street to Sailor Antiques where you’ll find antiques, candy, and, one of my personal favorites, Polish pottery. Continuing westward, on the opposite site of the street you will find The Cranberry Merchant, which is one of our longstanding antique stores, only changing names with a change in proprietorship within the past couple of years. It’s numerous stalls could keep you sifting through antiques and collectible for hours. Back across the street, Homeward Bound offers large amount of space for browsing as well, while smaller antique stores like Fat Pants Alley offer smaller, cozier atmospheres for shopping.
After all of that antique shopping, you’ll have worked up an appetite, so take a break for lunch; but there’s no need to get in your car and drive to a restaurant. Boom-A-Rang is open all day and Dot’s is open until 2; or for different fare, try She Brews, a lovely little coffee shop that serves sandwiches, soups, and salads with a lovely inspirational verse on the side. I enjoyed lunch with my daughter there today, and can attest to how delicious their egg salad sandwich and loaded potato soup are.
With lunch taken care of, now you can, if you’re a woman, indulge your feminine side, or, if you’re a man, buy something special for, or just wait in a comfortable chair for, that special lady in your life. In the past couple of years, several boutiques have popped up on our Main Street. One of these is The District on Main. It offers upscale women’s and men’s clothing and women’s accessories, including brands such as Brighton, Kendra Scott, and Southern Marsh. They also carry a beautiful selection of jewelry as well as trendy picture frames and some home decor. And if you’re an evening shopper or like special events, like their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on their Ladies Night Out events.
Another popular boutique to visit is the crisp, minimalist interior of Hillary’s Boutique. Here, you’ll find on-trend clothing items for teens and women. They offer an eclectic array of dresses, tunics, leggings, and skirts, including cute spirit clothing for supporting your favorite team. And if you find yourself running out of time and can’t spend enough time in the store, don’t worry, like many of our other clothing boutiques, you can shop Hillary’s online as well.
|Stay up to date with The Burlap Closet on Facebook|
Another recently opened store on Claremore’s Main Street is The Burlap Closet. The rustic signage and interior are immediately inviting. Once inside you can find a variety of clothing pieces for tweens, teens, and women, as well as a variety of appealing accessories to complete your new look.
One of the nice things about the clothing boutiques in Claremore’s downtown district is that while there are several of them, they all have something different to offer from demographics to styles to price points.
Now, I know that while I’m a fashionista and could spend all day in the clothing boutiques, many of you are looking for something more, and that is what makes Claremore’s Main Street worth shopping. It has plenty to offer. If you’re looking for a blend of items you could shop stores such as Vintique Charm, the Grapevine, and The Willow Tree. These stores have booths that carry everything from trendy skirts, dresses, and tunics, to statement jewelry pieces, to handcrafted items, to crafted soaps and candles, to re-purposed furniture, to home decor, to antiques.
If you’re a reader, though, stroll down to Boarding House Books. It has a warm inviting interior that just begs you to stop in and stay a while. It offers a wide selection of current releases as well as an immense selection of used books for you to peruse. Boarding House Books also supports local authors and offers frequent book signings throughout the year.
Next door to Boarding House Books is the Whittaker’s other store, the Bike-About. This bike shop offers an array of bicycles and cycling accessories, as well as hosts rides throughout the year. If you like to ride, but maybe not bikes, jaunt on down the street to The Horse of Course, our local equestrian store which offers everything from clothing to tack to grooming supplies.
But if those are a bit too specific or maybe you’re just wanting a gift or something to spruce up your home, we still have plenty to offer. The Cozy Cottage lives up to its name with its warm, cozy interior. It’s one of those inviting places that makes you want to find a corner and just stay a bit. It offers a vast array of giftables and home decor, as well as delicious smelling candles. Out West Home Decor also offers an enticing array of home decor and gifts, but with a Western flair.
When it comes to gifts, Claremore continues to offer up a number of choices. Adding to the eclecticness of downtown are Heins Jewelry, Wolf Gallery, and Waterfront Frame and Art, allowing you the opportunity to buy quality jewelry and collectibles or fine art, or to turn a memory into something tangible.
With so many stores to shop and such a variety of offerings, you’ll find your day of shopping has just flown by, and quite possibly that you need to come back and finish on another day. So don’t you think that, as the weather turns cooler, and our minds turn toward the people on our gift lists, shopping the stores in downtown Claremore would offer a nice selection of original items your friends and family would love and won’t receive anywhere else? Take the time to come visit Claremore. We’ll be glad to see you and you’ll be glad you did.
You can follow many of the Claremore Main Street business on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also be sure to follow Claremore Main Street on Facebook to keep up with our latest downtown events. If you would like to help your local Main Streets with their revitalization efforts and events, please, feel free to become a friend of your local organization and make a donation. As a non-profit organization, they could always use your assistance.