Spring has sprung in the 2SD, and in keeping with the season, delightful new things are abloom. From a fashionable pop-up and a gentlemanly apothecary to an Italian bakery and cafe on an up-and-coming streetcorner, fresh additions to the district are popping up like bluebonnets and we couldn't be more pleased.
Local Italian eatery Numero 28 quickly became a neighborhood favorite when it opened its doors a couple of years ago and began serving up Neapolitan pizzas, delicious pastas, perfect espresso drinks and gelato galore. Now, it's building on that success with its newly-opened space next door: Alimentari 28, a casual Italian bakery and cafe that already feels like home.
What's the vibe, exactly? Well, Thea Newell of The Austin Chronicle says it best: "Staffed largely by native Italians, who greet guests with an enthusiastic “Buongiorno,” and staying true to the Italian eatery set up of lunch items on display bakery-style, Alimentari 28 feels classically and authentically Italian. For those who have spent any time in Italy, the cafe will feel welcoming and nostalgic." We couldn't agree more. Stop in for a bite before word gets out and the line starts to stretch out the door.
Alimentari 28, 454 West 2nd Street
For the man who has everything except the perfect beard oil, Finley's Barber Shop has expanded its offerings to include the brand new retail concept, Apotheke, which opened last month. The hometown haircutter's shop next door (connected behind Cathy's Cleaners in what Community Impact calls "a horseshoe") has everything a dapper dude could need to stay that way, from colognes and beard products to gourmet hair products and fine accessories.
Congrats are also in order for this local favorite: the Austin-based barbershop brand has grown to encompass eight locations around town (including its one-two punch with Apotheke complementing its 2SD shop) plus two in Dallas, and it's soon expanding into Houston and Denver, topping things off with a third Dallas location to boot.
Finley's Apotheke, 209 West 3rd Street
"Is this store the best-kept secret in fashion?" The New York Times recently asked its readers, referring to the up-and-coming Nashville-based retailer known simply as U.A.L. Here in the 2SD, we're inclined to say yes, but the secret's out now, and it's about to spread far and wide: as of early April, U.A.L. (short for "United Apparel Liquidators") has erected a pop-up shop at the corner of 2nd and Lavaca since leaving its former spot on South Congress. In business since 1980, it sells designer clothing from the likes of Balenciaga, Celine, Isabel Marant, Rodarte and more, at a mere fraction of the usual price.
"Technically, U.A.L. belongs to the booming retail category known as off-price," says NYT writer Steven Kurutz. "But where discounters like Nordstrom Rack and T. J. Maxx have a bargain-basement atmosphere and leftover-seeming merchandise, UAL feels like a designer boutique. Imagine walking into Jeffrey in New York or Fred Segal in Los Angeles and discovering it’s having an everything-must-go fire sale."
UAL, 249 West 2nd Street
Get it while it's hot, Austin. We'll see you around the neighborhood.