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ModCloth Comes to Austin

**Guest Post by Lauren Whitehouse, ModCloth Fashion Publicist

ModCloth has set up shop in 2ND Street District! Now through Memorial Day, the online purveyor of unique indie and vintage-inspired styles and home goods is hosting a pop-up shop at 249 W. 2nd Street.

What can you find at ModCloth’s 2ND Street District shop?

  • A curated collection of ModCloth styles, including dresses, separates, shoes, graphic tees, accessories, and unique home decor
  • Exclusive swimwear available in a full range of sizes (up to 4X)
  • One-of-a-kind vintage chosen especially for Austin (cowboy boots!)
  • Offerings from 8 local Austin artists
  • Graphic t-shirts, including a custom ModCloth x Austin tank, only available in-store
  • Free personalized appointments with on-site ModStylists™ for expert fit and styling guidance (book an appointment)
  • Free ModCloth Austin tote bag with any purchase

Everything we do at ModCloth is inspired and influenced by our vibrant online community, so we are relishing the opportunity to meet our fans ‘IRL’. Stop by the shop to snap a selfie and tag #ModClothIRL for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate. We can’t wait to meet you!

Photos by Laura Morsman Photography

South by 2ND Street District

Need a break from all of the festivities? Here's our guide on the best places to refuel, relax and refresh in the 2ND Street District.

Refuel:

Stop by Jo's Coffee for a breakfast taco and their house latte, The Turbo, Daily Juice for an instant dose of vitamins and nutrients and Cafe Ruckus for a coffee or tea.

Relax:

Treat yourself to a mani and pedi at the oh-so-chic Lacquer and a massage at milk+honey.

Refresh:

Get a haircut, straight razor hot towel shave and a relaxing executive hand detail, all without leaving your oversized, comfortable barber chair at Finley's Barber Shop. Ladies, freshen up at local Austin favorite Rae Cosmetics. Best known for their heat and perspiration-resistant cosmetics that help improve your skins natural, healthy appearance, you'll at least look like you got a full night's rest!

That's not all...View the full list of boutiques, restaurants and entertainment here. Cheers!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas in Austin

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Whether you are crafting your very own wish list, dropping some hints to your significant other or shopping for friends, family and loved ones, the 2nd Street District has you covered. Here’s what’s on our gift guide this year.

 

1. Prize: We’re swooning over the Fornasetti Baccio lidded candle keepsake ($175) crafted of natural vegetable wax and poured into a glazed ceramic vessel featuring the lithographic image of house muse Lina Cavalieri’s nose and mouth. Master perfumer Olivier Polge crafted the invitingly warm Otto signature scent of the candle.  Or, try their Montale Paris eau de parfum spray ($170) with scent notes of vetiver from Haiti, Moroccan cedarwood, patchouli, grapefruit, elemi, and black pepper from Madagascar.

 

2. HACIENDA: Right in time for Valentine’s Day, Hacienda has launched the new, in-house fragrance, Texas Rose. This is a custom scent developed by HACIENDA using all organic ingredients sourced in Austin. They are launching this product with their essential tin (good for lips, skin and perfume), a sugar lip scrub, and a bar soap – all in time for Valentine’s Day. Coming soon: enjoy this scent and other ones from their collection in a shea butter body cream and sugar body scrub. Honoring the new fragrance and the romantic holiday, enjoy complimentary Bellinis at the shop over Valentine’s Day weekend.

 

3. SIKARA & CO.: Give the gift of jewelry with the small Criss Cross Heart Wire pendant ($90) from Sikara & Co. Modern and futuristic in design, this pendant was inspired by a trip to Cairo. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Don’t miss entering their blog contest – each individual who submits an entry receives a gift card and the winner – a piece of jewelry!

 

4. Jo’s Coffee: Jo’s Coffee will be offering their Monday night special on 2/14. Enjoy 2-4-1 burgers – perfect for a date or hanging with a friend! It’s truly the best-kept burger secret in Austin and the perfect casual spot for a Valentine’s Day celebration.

 

5. lll Forks: Enjoy the special Sweetheart Menu at lll Forks from February 6th-February 14th. This couple’s menu ($170) includes your choice of salad or lobster bisque to begin, two 6 oz. filets mignon accompanied with two 6 oz. cold water lobster tails for your entrée served with whipped potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn and vine ripened tomatoes and spring onions. For dessert, enjoy a Chocolate Lovers’ treat.   

  

6. Austin Rocks:  If you are looking for something special for someone special, Austin Rocks has a variety of gift ideas at a convenient array of prices. From books, pillows, picture frames, coffee cups and more – there’s a little love for everyone at this 2nd Street District gem.

 

7.  Rae Cosmetics: Pucker up! Look and feel extra beautiful this Valentine’s Day with 50% off their Valentine’s Day collection with the purchase of any full price lip color.   

  

8. Milk + Honey: This luxe Austin spa favorite has the perfect Valentine’s Day packages and gift ideas. Give the gift of a hydrating pedicure, facial, couple’s massage – or even a gift card. The options are truly endless when it comes to Milk + Honey and pampering!

 

9. Teddies for Bettys: Make your Valentine’s Day extra special with new pieces from Teddies for Bettys. This year, we’re shopping gorgeous lace pieces by Envol from Simone Perele Official and new pieces from Marie Joe in Valentine Red. 

 

10. Toy Joy: We truly can’t get enough of Toy Joy! A few things on our gift guide this year for Valentine’s Day: a Giant Heart by I Heart Gus ($99.95), Cockatiel and Parrot masks by Dillon Inc. ($29.95), a Giant Rilakkuma Plush ($199.95), Pixel Heart glasses by Elope ($8.95), Valentine’s Plush items by GUND ($16.95-$21.95), mini red piano by Schylling ($84.95), Animail Heart by Marky Sparky Toys ($11.95), and much more.  Be sure to stop by Toy Joy to see the full lineup of Valentine’s Day gifts!

New Year's Eve in the 2nd Street District

New Year's Eve in the 2nd Street District - 2015

New Year's Eve in the 2nd Street District - 2015

What are you doing New Year's Eve? Prep and prepare for festivities right here in the 2nd Street District.

  1. Stock up on your favorite sparkly baubles at Eliza Page. From rings, to gemstones and more, it's the perfect way to add a bit of glamour to your New Year's Eve night.

  2. Get beautiful at Milk+Honey. Schedule a last minute facial to get your skin really glowing for evening festivities. Or, you can always pop-in for a blowout! Book your appointment by calling them at 512-236-1115.

  3. Celebrate New Year's Eve this year at Cru. Make your reservation today to enjoy their spectacular New Year's Eve celebrations with your favorite wine in an intimate space. Make your reservation by calling 512-472-9463.

  4. Turn New Year's Eve into a special date night or time together with friends at The Bonneville. With delicious New American fare- it will be a memorable evening you won't forget. For the holiday, they are offering a delectable four-course prix fixe menu at $75.00 a person - including a champagne toast! Wine pairings are available for an additional $35. Entree options include Quail a la Mattone, Crab Stuffed Filet of Beef, and more. Make your reservation by calling 512-428-4643 or visiting their website.

  5. Shop for some dazzling new earrings to complement your dress at Hemline. From cocktail dresses to the perfect accessories, style is guaranteed at this chic Austin boutique.

  6. Nothing says date night quite like Violet Crown. Plan a low-key New Year's Eve and enjoy a movie and delicious bites and cocktails at this 2nd Street District gem.

  7. For the ultimate beauty statement, take advantage of cosmetics and gift ideas at Rae Cosmetics. Enjoy 10% off gift sets and 20% off makeup applications the through January 2nd - $60 for a full makeup application and $35 for just eyes. Both include false lashes! Call Rae today and plan your special day: 512-320-8732.

  8. Not sure what to wear this New Year's Eve? Stop by Francesca's and plan your entire outfit! From shoes, to dresses, to handbags and accessories - you can pull together a New Year's Eve look in a cinch.

SHOP

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas in Austin

Stil searching for a few last minute gifts? This season, we've pulled a variety of items at some of our favorite boutiques and stores. We've rounded up some of our top picks at under $100. Find the perfect present for a co-worker, client, family member, loved one or friend. From embroidered cocktail napkins to jewelry - there's something for everyone in the 2ND Street District. Happy shopping!

Farm to Table with Numero 28 and III Forks

For most of us, summer means traveling, tan lines, and playing in the sun. For restaurants, however, this season is a time to change the menu and try new dishes. In the 2ND Street District, where we are all about community and giving back, the chefs at our restaurants endorse farm to table techniques while still keeping things interesting with local produce.

What is farm to table? It’s what happens when a restaurant takes what is given to them by local farmers instead of from across the country or the globe. This not only supports local, but also spurs creativity among chefs. While our 2ND Street chefs agree that farm to table cannot be carried out 100%, when local produce is in season, the dishes are even more delicious. We asked some of the chefs and restaurant owners from the 2ND Street District how they work with farm to table, what original creations they’ve come up with, and what inspires them.

Numero 28 - Owner Bernardo Nolfo

On Farm to Table Techniques

"All of our pasta is made from scratch, in house every morning."

On Farm to Table Most Original Creations

Caponata con crostini is a Sicilian dish made with eggplants olives, celery, capers, onions & tomato topped with tomato sauce.

Caponata con crostini at Numero 28    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Caponata con crostini at Numero 28    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Bresaola Della Valtellina is a beef that looks like prosciutto and is featured in Prosciutto e Mozzarella (on the lunch menu) with Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, arugula, and chipotle aioli.

Prosciutto e Mozzarella at Numero 28    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Prosciutto e Mozzarella at Numero 28    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Wine

"We are also the biggest draft wine provider in town. Our concept is 'a fresh glass all the time.' Bottled wine has sulfites to preserve it, which can give you a headache. It isn't stored at the best or consistent temperatures, which can ruin it. We are temperature conscious. With the draft wine, it comes in a keg at the right temperature, and then it goes straight to the cooler on draft."

Draft wine at Numero 28

Draft wine at Numero 28

On Inspiration

"My main inspiration is the passionate I have for food and wine. I think eating and drinking well and healthy is basic for a great living on these years."

III Forks - Manager Crimson Scorsonelli & Chef Adrian Corkill

On Farm to Table Techniques

All beef is from Nebraska. We use prime beef, top 2% in the world.

On Farm to Table Most Original Creations

We try to pair dishes with the right wine or liquor, and we’ll go off the menu for that. We like to take four course meals and pair each course with a suitable wine or cocktail. We’ll make a four-course tequila dinner without making a single margarita. It forces us to get creative.

New appetizer: Wagyu marrow bones, served with beef cheek marmalade and fruit mustarda and sea salt.

Wagyu marrow bones appetizer at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Wagyu marrow bones appetizer at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Paired with a red wine, Orin Swift Machete, California 2013. Red blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah and Grenache. The wine has aromatics of ripe blackberries, mulled raspberries, acacia flowers, toasty oak, and herbal notes. The mid palate is exposed to an unadulterated array of crushed berries, dark chocolate, black fruits, & a tinge of creamy espresso.

Wagyu marrow bones paired with California 2013 Orin Swifte Machete

Wagyu marrow bones paired with California 2013 Orin Swifte Machete

Original creation: Chicken-fried lobster tail battered & deep fried with sundried tomato butter on the bottom and asparagus spears.

Chicken-fried lobster at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Chicken-fried lobster at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Paired with: 2014 Vouvray is a Chenin blanc From France, this wine is slightly dry, while holding purity and intensity. It is very floral with a crisp acidity.

Chicken-fried lobster paired with a 2014 Vouvray at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Chicken-fried lobster paired with a 2014 Vouvray at III Forks    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Inspiration

Experimentation and creating within our own menu. Adrian will try anything. He’ll prompt me to try new things like chicken-fried bacon and modify it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Stay tuned for more from your favorite 2SD restaurants!

Farm to Table at La Condesa & The Bonneville

Fresh carrots at La Condesa     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Fresh carrots at La Condesa     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

For most of us, summer means traveling, tan lines, and playing in the sun. For restaurants, however, this season is a time to change the menu and try new dishes. In the 2ND Street District, where we are all about community and giving back, the chefs at our restaurants endorse farm to table techniques while still keeping things interesting with local produce.

What is farm to table? It’s what happens when a restaurant takes what is given to them by local farmers instead of from across the country or the globe. This not only supports local, but also spurs creativity among chefs. While our 2ND Street chefs agree that farm to table cannot be carried out 100%, when local produce is in season, the dishes are even more delicious. We asked some of the chefs and restaurant owners from the 2ND Street District how they work with farm to table, what original creations they’ve come up with, and what inspires them.

La Condesa - Chef Rick Lopez

"We partner with Sustainable Food Center, which hosts a chef series every fall. I’ll call or order via email & take what Johnson’s Backyard Garden has to get rid of in excess. This is how we create our specials. We try to switch our menu 4 times a year."

On Farm to Table Original Creations

Zanahoria: The salad has 4 different types of cooked carrots: roasted with salt & pepper, shaved raw, pickled, and chimichurri. The carrots are purple, red, orange, and yellow so the finished product looks like a campfire. They’re placed on top of crispy quinoa and a cardamom yogurt that comes from White Mountain Yogurt in East Austin.

“I love carrots. As a baby, all I hate was carrot purree. I was turning bronze.”

Zanahoria at La Condesa    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Zanahoria at La Condesa    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Inspiration

“I'm inspired by how knowledgeable our guests have become now when it comes to food. They're really into the whole farm to table thing. I really aim to please and quench people of their thirst for knowledge while trying to teach too. We're named after a place in Mexico City and we gain inspiration from what the chefs are doing there. When you travel to Mexico, it's not exclusively tacos or anything like that. They have great produce. It's what they do & how they present it.”

Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Bonneville    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Heirloom Tomato Salad at The Bonneville    Photo credit: Hannah Rose

The Bonneville - Chefs Chris & Jennifer Hurley

On Farm to Table Techniques

“We go to the farmers markets and farms ourselves, but you can’t do it 100%. Certain things you can’t get local, like scallops, which come from the East Coast. We use Sustainable Food Center, where they know how their animals are raised. Other partners include Republic Square and Boggy Creek Farms, both in Austin, and IO Ranch in Lampasas.

On Farm to Table Original Creations

Local Heirloom tomato salad with house-made bacon jam and avocado. Tomatoes come from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Boggy Creek. The Bonneville makes its own bacon and smokes it in-house.

If you love bacon, you must come in and try it...it is unbeliveably delicious.

Watermelon & tequila-infused jalapeno margarita: Watermelon is symbolic of summertime. The cocktail is sweet in the front of your mouth with a kick in the back.

Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita at The Bonneville     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Jalapeno Watermelon Margarita at The Bonneville     Photo credit: Hannah Rose

On Inspiration

“Our famers and ranchers inspire us. They’re the experts, whether it’s game or produce. Sure, it’d be great to have what we want handed to us, but those conversations between ourselves and the farmers are what make us create new dishes with their produce finds.”

WineDown @ the ACL Live Moody Theatre, every Tuesday this summer!

Austin’s Favorite Happy Hour Moves to Tuesdays in 2015

THE WINE DOWN is back! This free summer concert series is presented by MARK WEST WINES and returning supporter 2ND Street District, benefiting the Austin Music Foundation. Moving to Tuesday nights, this year’s The Wine Down series will remain indoors on the air-conditioned concert floor to cool down the hot summer evenings. The popular music series has become an anchor to driving people downtown to experience lively nights of shopping, eating, and strolling down the 2ND Street corridor.

The Wine Down is FREE, open to the public, and takes place from 5-7 PM at ACL Live at The Moody Theater. Each evening’s entertainment will once again be emceed by KGSR, and each event will host giveaways for merchandise from businesses around the 2ND Street District. The 2015 series kicks off with a bang Tuesday, June 16th, and runs every other week through August 25th.

The August 25th finale with QUIET COMPANY, with special guest BEE CAVES, is hosted by the Austin Music Foundation. An optional $5 donation at the door will go directly to AMF.

“The Wine Down series is the perfect event," said Julie Sutton, Retail Marketing Manager of 2ND Street District. “Guests get to sample the best of the 2ND Street District's stores and restaurants all while enjoying live music from ACL Live. This is exactly what makes Austin the place to be.”

Special thanks to our partners 2ND Street District, KGSR Austin, Visit Austin, Texas, and Elite 25 Ausin.

2015 THE WINE DOWN SCHEDULE:

6/16 - The Deer & Chipper Jones with bites by Trace

6/30 - Peterson Brothers Band with bites by Cantina Laredo

7/14 - Walker Lukens Music with bites by III Forks Austin

7/28 - Sour Bridges with bites by Numero28 Ristorante/Pizzeria/Vineria

8/11 - Cilantro Boombox with bites by Living Room at W Hotel

8/25 - Austin Music Foundation presents Quiet Company & special guest Bee Caves with bites by The Bonneville

 

ABOUT MARK WEST WINES

Mark West was founded in 1978 with one desire only: To craft remarkable California Pinot Noir that delivers exceptional quality at an affordable price. With equal parts patience, hard work, and passion, we’ve followed our dream from vineyard to barrel to bottle, rewarded by knowing that Pinot lovers savor every glass just as much as we do. www.markwestwines.com

ABOUT THE AUSTIN MUSIC FOUNDATION

Austin Music Foundation (AMF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen and connect the Austin’s music community with innovative programs that empower musicians and fuel Austin’s creative economy. AMF provides expert panels, consultations, mentoring and mixers to provide the necessary tools and opportunities to succeed in the music industry. www.austinmusicfoundation.org

ABOUT AUSTIN CITY LIMITS LIVE AT THE MOODY THEATER

Winner of 2011 Pollstar Award: “Best New Major Concert Venue” Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater (ACL Live) is a state-of-the-art, 2,750-person capacity live music venue that hosts approximately 100 concerts a year. It serves as the new home for the taping of the acclaimed KLRU-TV produced PBS series, Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American television history. ACL Live is nestled next to the W Austin Hotel & Residences, which are both located within Block 21, the first mixed-occupancy building of its type in the world to be LEED certified. LEED is a mark of excellence developed by the U.S. Green Building Council acknowledging measurable performance attributes that benefit human and environmental health. ACL Live is the premier destination in Austin for live performances as well as numerous special and private events.

TheWineDown presented by @MarkWestWinery @acllive

Spring Style

Spring fashion by Luxe Apothetique, Francesca’s, & Langford Market

The sun is out and we are ready to show some skin! With spring on our doorstep, here are some trends to spot in the expressive city of Austin.

Hyper-feminism: According to Luxe Apothetique, fashion is returning to the 50s. Housewife style dresses with a womanly waist will show off those beautiful, classic curves that make women women. But hasn’t that been done before? Sure, but this time around the frilly, feminine style will be juxtaposed with something sharp and edgy, like a bomber jacket or sharp jewelry (triangles, anyone?) Another way to add a rough edge is by wearing a piece of druzy jewelry. Kendra Scott is a big fan.

According to Luxe, it’s all about looking “handmade in production or appearance.” Druzy jewelry looks like it was pulled straight from the earth. Austin style is laid back and effortless (at least that’s how it should seem). Hairstyles are a little messy, but done on purpose. Quality, designer jeans have a hole in one knee—or both. It’s girly, but grungy. Sweetness with an edge.

Blue Druzy Necklace from Luxe Apothetique   Photo Credit: Hannah Rose

Blue Druzy Necklace from Luxe Apothetique   Photo Credit: Hannah Rose

For Francesca’s, hyper-feminism comes in a slightly different flavor. The store is filled with soft blues, bright mint greens, and delicious shades of pink. However, many pieces have tears and crochets. Sweet spring pieces are paired with roughed up leather shoes and bags or jackets with fringe. Kimonos and paisley patterns are yet another way of countering a feminine piece with something loose and wild.

Francesca’s also promotes a Southern preppy look, something casual but put together. You can wear something made of chambray fabric, either dressed down with flirty shorts and sandals or dressed up with wedges and pearls. Regarding accessorizing, Francesca’s always has a great selection of earrings of all sizes and styles. They also offer statement necklaces as well as linear necklaces, which are popular for layering. Linear necklaces can mix metals and different types of charms, because sometimes it’s impossible to choose just one.

Francesca's has soft blues in for spring   Photo credit: Hannah Rose

Francesca's has soft blues in for spring   Photo credit: Hannah Rose

While Luxe draws on the 50s and Francesca’s embraces a southern class, Langford Market draws on New York Fashion Week and the tones of the 70s and 90s. From the 70s returns the mod, shift-style dress with no waistline for eternal comfort. Céline gave plenty of examples of a clean, modern silhouette on the runway. From the 90s comes crop tops with high-wasted jeans as well as combat style with shoes like Dr. Martens. (Dr. Martens make great rain boots when goulashes don’t seem to go with your outfit.) Cutouts, perforated patterns, and mesh are also popular textures. Gingham patterns and longer hemlines can be seen making a comeback with the 50s housewife style aforementioned by Luxe Apothetique.

To accessorize, Langford encourages tribal jewelry and statement pieces. Like Francesca’s, Langford suggests the idea of layering delicate necklaces, anywhere from three to five at a time. As seen with Céline and Louis Vuitton, wearing one big mismatched earring with a stud on the other side touches again on the idea of an edge that juxtaposes your feminine pieces.

Tribal and statement necklaces from Langford Market   Photo Credit: Hannah Rose

Tribal and statement necklaces from Langford Market   Photo Credit: Hannah Rose

On a different note, norm-core style can also be exercised when you want to go against the runway. Keds and Converse round out a look with a minimalist touch.

Overall, Langford says to keep it simple with colors, wearing neutrals and blushes. Even though it’s spring, you don’t need too much color to make a statement.

What are you most excited for this spring? Which fashion piece are you going to look for to add to your closet? Leave a comment below!

Toy Joy

We're proud of being 75% locally owned and operated. Stop by and meet the people that make The 2ND Street District Where Texas Warmth Meets Austin Cool.

How many years Have you been in business? In business for 26 years.

Why do you love what you do? There is nothing better than finding your inner child and having fun!

What’s the coolest thing about Austin? The coolest thing about Austin is it's eclectic indy spirit.

What’s your favorite product or menu item in your store or restaurant? Our favorite product (and everyone else's) is our riding Rody!

Tell us a fun fact about you or your business. Adults secretly love us just as much as kids!

Thank you, Toy Joy!

Be sure to check out Toy Joy during White Linen Night for their event: REBOOT 2.0, The Assemblages of Adam Miller at 6PM August 2ND!