The Holiday open house held in downtown Opelika this past Sunday, November, 6 could not have been more perfect. The weather was excellent with bright blue skies and sunshine. Many shops downtown were open, offering snacks and drinks, giveaways and coupons. It was a great day to stroll downtown, enjoy the afternoon, start some holiday shopping and get ideas for later visits.
Frou Frou on 8th, was one of our first stops. Located at 116 South Eighth Street, is part art gallery, part home decor retail store. Displays featuring fall themes were located throughout the store, including the large goblets and cylinder vases filled with leaves and pine cones to the multicolored orange roses. The store displays items in a variety of interesting ways, making use of old window frames, doors and ladders. It’s definitely not a store to be missed for an interesting and unique item for your home.
The Cheesecake Cottage is located at 109 South Eighth Street. During the open house, they offered samples of their various cheesecakes and cupcakes and were accepting orders for holiday desserts. They offer a variety of flavors of cakes and pies as well. A slice of the eggnog cheesecake was just over $4 with tax. According to my son, it was delicious.
Fringe is an upscale consignment store for women’s clothing. If you enjoy vintage clothes — I’m planning to go back for a great pair of shoes — or designer clothes, this is the place. Prices are lower than retail, but higher than a thrift store if you’re looking for a bargain. There is a great selection of formal gowns in all styles and sizes and a section of plus size clothing as well. During the open house, they offered a selection of snacks and coffee and held a drawing for a gift certificate. Fringe is located at 125 South Eighth Street.
Sips and Strokes is a new way to enjoy a night out with friends or a date. Bring your favorite beverage — yes, even alcohol — to sip and paint a picture using a simple painting technique taught by the instructor. Classes range from $20 – $50. During the open house Sips and Strokes offered a $5 off coupon and had snacks available. We browsed the studio and saw some of the instructor’s paintings. This is definitely a place on our to-do list. Sips and Strokes is located at 127 South Eighth Street.
Transformations Life Center is a bookstore, gift shop and classroom. Their goal is to promote inspiration, wellness, comfort, hope and humor. The store is filled with various home decor items with positive messages and books for a variety of self-help issues. There is a children’s area downstairs along with a classroom where workshops are held. They are offering a 25 percent off automatic coupon through mid-December, 2011, off your highest priced item. Since I’ve been studying about life transformation and positive thinking, this is another place on my to-do list. I’ll definitely be checking out their workshops during the new year. I purchased a paperweight (inscribed with Follow Your Dreams) and picked up a list of current workshops. Transformations is located at 824 Avenue A.
Visiting Yarnhouse made me want to dig out my knitting and crochet needles again. They have all types of yarns, fabrics and supplies. They also offer classes, and if you can’t make it to an advertised class they will have one just for you — at the same price. That’s a great option for people working during the day or on weekends. The classes are affordable. Supplies don’t appear to be included, but are available there. I think I’ll be calling them about the Beseme Crocheted Shawl. Yarnhouse is located at 115 South Eighth Street, Suite 101.
Roland’s Thrift Store at 825 South Railroad Avenue doesn’t have a website, but you have to visit this packed-to-the-rafters thrift store. They have a little bit of everything — toys, DVDs, records, lamps, dishes. I even found an old typewriter, priced at $10, the same model that I’d bought in the 1980s for just over $100. But my great score there was the Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture 2 DVD game, bought for $1.00. That definitely beat out finding the Scene It 2 at Angel’s Antiques for $8.00.
The Event Center Downtown was a great place to stop by, even if we had to walk a bit out of the way. Located at 614 North Railroad Avenue, the Event Center Downtown is located in the old Coca-Cola building. It has been remodeled but still holds that historic charm. The owners have used re-purposed brick to form the downstairs bar area and they’re using other recycled materials to continue renovating the upper floor of the building into a bride / groom area, complete with bathrooms, a lounge, a rooftop terrace and a meeting room. The old fallout shelter downstairs is going to become a wine cellar. We signed up for their email list and plan to attend a public even there soon.
We loved roaming the downtown area of Opelika, Alabama, browsing the stores and enjoying the start of the holiday season. Everyone in the area should definitely spend some time here, do some holiday shopping and support the local economy of our town.