Readers Voice Awards – Shop

Posted on 19 Mar 2008 at 7:40pm


PAST PERFECT: At Lula B’s, Ryan Rucker’s vendor area is strictly mid-century modern: ’60s Tomlinson coffee table, doll-face head and "Leave It to Beaver"-worthy mint-teal sofa. – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST ANTIQUES AND BEST VINTAGE STORE
Lula B’s Antique Mall
2004 Greenville Ave.
214-824-2185
Sun. noon-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

If one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, Lula B’s should be on every treasure map in the state. Walking into the 8,000-square-foot shop for the first time is as much fun as rushing downstairs on Christmas morning.

With 39 vendors, there are treasures to discover at every turn. And Lula B’s has a lot of great turns. Since each vendor furnishes his or her space, the personal style varies greatly, and the variety is as eclectic as it is huge. Whether you want a Danish Modern dinette set, a wet bar or a table lamp that’s base is a goldfish tank, Lula B’s is like IKEA for cool people.

And there’s more upstairs.

Busting at the seams with vintage threads, the entire second floor is dedicated to stylish clothes and accessories. If you are looking for some retooled Tony Lama boots or a belt buckle the size of a dinner plate, they’ve got them upstairs. And if you need a blue velvet jacket or some Jackie O shades, they’re on the left, right next to the Fleetwood Mac concert T-shirt and the pleather pants.

The atmosphere at Lula B’s is friendly and inviting — no Dallitude at this antique store. Since its opening on lower Greenville in 1992, the vibe has always been comfortable and inclusive. And since Mary Ann Kaylor and Patrick Springer were handpicked to buy the shop three years ago, that open-minded ambiance has only increased.

"We often see gay and lesbian couples shopping together here on the weekend," Kaylor says. "And we love it."

Whether you need a new outfit, another sculpture, an old lunchbox or a shag rug, this store had got it. And if you’re looking for original, stylish and cool, Lula B’s is a must-stop shop.

— Truitt Ray




KNICKERS WITH A TWIST: At Skivvies, don’t search for the standard front-fly brief: Go sexier, like trying the C-IN2 racer brief, $19.50. – BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST UNDERWEAR SELECTION
Skivvies
4001 Cedar Springs Road, Suite C.
214-559-4955
Sun. 12 p.m.-8 p.m.,
Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.,
Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

If your mom was a hard-ass who always demanded that you wear clean underwear in case you end up in the hospital, then you should feel safe at Skivvies. In its seventh year of operation, Skivvies grew out of the Outlines clothing store across the street on Cedar Springs Road.

"About the time the Texas Triangle moved out of their offices, my partner, David Richardson, and I decided to expand and give the underwear its own store," Todd Seaton, owner and chief underwear buyer remembers. "And a year-and-a-half ago, we doubled our showroom to 3,800 square feet."

The Texas-sized showroom displays more than 7,000 pairs of underwear from 25 different companies in prices ranging $10-$40. In addition to mainstays like 2(X)ist and Calvin Klein, Skivvies also carries COLT, C-IN2, Ginch Gonch, Unico, Guiio and Punto Blanco. If you want something exclusive, Skivvies is the only retailer in the Big D to sell the form-hugging Clever brand.

According to hunky sales associate Mike Long, "They feel good and look good, and they lift and separate."

Skivvies also carries green unmentionables — made from renewable resources like soy and bamboo. And if you don’t have enough junk in your trunk, you might try Go Softwear or G-storm styles — both brands offer a juicy butt-padded back end.

Whether you need a red jockstrap for the spring formal or some lucky underwear for a hot date, Skivvies has got you covered — if barely.

— Truitt Ray




SARTORIAL SPLENDOR: Made-to-measure specialist Scott Cole gives a tzuj to Thom Browne’s three-button navy pinstripe flannel sport coat at the Brooks Brothers’ mega store in the West Village. (Browne’s natty spring creations arrive in April). – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST MEN’S BUSINESS ATTIRE
Brooks Brothers
3636 Mckinney Ave. Suite 100.
214-520-8854
Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
BrooksBrothers.com

For decades, Brooks Brothers has been thought of as your father’s clothing store: traditional-cut suits and conservative shirts, and striped club ties in dark colors. Nothing splashy or that could draw too much attention to yourself or single you out as anything but a team player.

That was then; this is now.

As business culture has changed — casual Fridays have crept into most other days of the week — even office workers have been granted leeway. And Brooks Brothers has changed with the times.

Yes, you can still get a gray three-button custom-made suit and white button-down Oxford cloth shirt. But there are some Barneys-like patterns, sassy neckties and stylin’ peacoats.

But since out designer Thom Browne, known for his high-water trousers and edgy urbanware, became the venerable clothier’s first-ever guest designer with his Black Fleece men’s line, you can expect "traditional" business attire to develop in some pretty faboo ways: Navy blue cutaways with contrasting piping, silk faille dinner jackets, even capes. Can you imagine your dad wearing a cape? Not unless your last name is Lugosi.

It’s been said that fashions change, but style is forever. It’s that quality that has distinguished Brooks Brothers for nearly two centuries while keeping it relevant today.

— Arnold Wayne Jones




-DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST CONSIGNMENT STORE
Dulce Interior Consignment
2914 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-219-5656
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
MyDulce.com

Dulce looks more like a cozy gallery or an eclectic home than a consignment store. Owners Simon Veeren and Jorge Fernandez made sure of that. The walls — black, gold, white, striped — and cement floors are a mixture of colors, patterns and textures.

Sifting through mounds of secondhand goods in hopes of finding a treasure can sometimes be messy and tiresome. But traversing through Ducle’s vignettes is sweet and welcoming.

The space Dulce occupies was built in 1924. Veeren and Fernandez got the keys on Sept. 1, 2001 and were scheduled to open Oct. 1. But then came 9/11.

Naturally, Vereen and Fernandez got nervous about the disaster’s impact on the economy. So they tightened their belts and scaled back their original plans, which were more extravagant. They opened Oct. 7, and Verneen and Fernandez say careful forethought has kept them in business. And business is apparently good.

They’ve got an eye for artwork. Every year, Dulce hosts two art shows with proceeds benefiting Bryan’s House.

From classic to kitsch, you can find great accessories. And there’s an impressive furniture collection with mod couches and hip table-and-chair sets.

Prices suit a variety of budgets: a 31" bamboo in-lay vase ($108), a 32" coconut shell table-lamp ($275) a ’70s Knoll wool-upholstered loveseat and chair ($ 2,040) or an Eames storage unit for Herman Miller ($2,600).

In the name of being funky and being green, the owners use old quilts to wrap items.

— Jenny Block




-BRYAN AMANN/Dallas Voice

BEST LIGHTING STORE
Lamps Plus
(three Metroplex locations.)
3319 Knox St.
214-520-2995
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
LampsPlus.com

Lamps Plus has been around for more than 30 years, but the 20,000-square-foot Knox Road shop has only been open since 2003. There are two more Metroplex locations: one in Plano and one in Arlington. But the Knox inventory is different— they specialize in contemporary, urban chic. Uptown and upscale. You’ll find less of the Old World pieces and rustic items, and more designs by Tech Lighting, Hubbardton Forge, Eurofase and Holtkotter.

The light switch has considerably advanced since Thomas Edison’s days. Now there’s LED lighting, fiber optics and figuring out the intricacies of designing landscape lighting.

Need help? Lamps Plus employees are designers, having completed 40 hours of course work and getting certified by the American Lighting Association. They provide services that include installation and free in-home consultations. They even offer whole-house dimmer designs, low-voltage lighting packages and assistance with light bulb beam-spread planning

You can find other nifty items — not just sources of illumination. That’s what the "Plus" is about: wall art, furniture, faux palms and topiaries. And online, you find nearly everything that has anything to do with home decor, including Christmas trees and bedding.

— Jenny Block




BETTER IN BENZ: Park Place consultant Nedd Ross shows off the curvaceously sleek lines of the 2008 CLS550 (about $65k). – DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

BEST IMPORTED AUTO DEALERSHIP
Park Place Motorcars Dallas, Mercedes
6113 Lemmon Ave.
888-354-7176
Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.,Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
ParkPlaceTexas.com

Park Place Mercedes has all kinds of reasons to celebrate. They were recently awarded Mercedes’ Best of the Best distinction for the fourth consecutive year, as well as the Masters Award for being one of the top 10 Mercedes dealers in the U.S. Their claim to fame is killer service and putting customers at ease during what could be a daunting experience — forking over piles of moolah for luxury motoring.

Park Place Mercedes says it wants its customers to feel comfortable at the dealership. So new clients start with a tour of their impeccable facility — that swanky palace that was erected where the 1960s-built Haggar Foundation building used to sit.

The people who work at Park Place Mercedes call themselves "sales consultants" — not salesmen. Partly because women are on their team. They try to pair consultants with customers that will hit it off, and having women on the team helps. The idea is for consumers to see consultants as advisors who are leading them to smart decisions, rather than taking ‘em for a ride.

Park Place offers a program to anyone who buys a new Mercedes or a certified pre-owned Mercedes. Perks include complimentary loaners, having access to an exclusive portion of the Web site that allows customers to track their Benz’s service records, and discounts and deals from retailers — like free bottles of wine at local steakhouses.

— Jenny Block

BEST GROCERY STORE
Kroger
(Various locations in the U.S.)
4142 Cedar Springs Road.
214-599-9859
Sun.-Sat. 6 a.m.-1 a.m.
Kroger.com


BEST HEALTH/NUTRITION STORE
Whole Foods
(Various locations in the U.S.)
4100 Lomo Alto Dr. Highland Park.
214-520-7993
Sun.-Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
WholeFoods.com


BEST LIQUOR STORE
Goody Goody Liquor
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3316 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-765-6878
Sun.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
GoodyGoody.com

BEST WINE SELECTION
Goody Goody Liquor
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3316 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-765-6878
Sun.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
GoodyGoody.com

BEST MEN’S CASUAL SPORTSWEAR
Union Jack
3920 Cedar Springs Road.
214-528-9600
Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
UnionJackDallas.com

BEST WOMEN’S APPAREL
Nordstrom
(Various locations in the U.S.)
Nordstrom NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway.
214-231-3900
Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Nordstrom.com

BEST SHOPPING CENTER
NorthPark Mall Center
8697 N. Central Expressway.
214-363-5018
Sun. noon-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Restaurants, theater, spa and department stores may vary.
NorthParkCenter.com


BEST CLUB WEAR
Union Jack
3920 Cedar Springs Road.
214-528-9600
Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
UnionJackDallas.com


BEST JEAN SELECTION
Jean Connection
(Various locations in Texas.)
5926 W. Northwest Highway.
214-691-7894
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
JeanConnection.com


BEST FORMALWEAR
Al’s Formalwear
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3400 Oak Lawn Ave.
214-520-8897
Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon., Thu. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Tue., Wed., Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
AlsFormalWear.com


BEST SHOE SELECTION
Nordstrom
(Various locations in the U.S.)
Nordstrom NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway.
214-231-3900
Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Nordstrom.com


BEST SPORTING GOODS
Academy Sports
(Various locations in the U.S.)
8050 Forest Lane, Dallas.
214-355-3200
Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Academy.com


BEST BUDGET FURNITURE
IKEA
(Various locations worldwide)
7171 IKEA Drive, Frisco.
972-712-4532
Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Ikea.com


BEST LUXURY FURNITURE
Cantoni
(Various locations in the U.S.)
4800 Alpha Road, Dallas.
972-934-9191
Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cantoni.com

BEST HOME ACCESSORIES
IKEA
(Various locations worldwide)
7171 IKEA Drive, Frisco.
972-712-4532
Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Ikea.com


BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT AND HARDWARE
Elliott’s Hardware
4901 Maple Ave.
214-634-9900
Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
ElliottsHardware.com

BEST COMPUTER STORE
Apple Store
(Various locations worldwide)
3101 Knox St.
214-520-8532
Sun. noon-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Apple.com/Retail/KnoxStreet


BEST GIFT BOUTIQUE
Nuvo
3900 Cedar Springs Road.
214-522-6886
Sun. noon-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
NuvoDallas.com


BEST COOKWARE
Williams-Sonoma
(Various locations in the U.S.)
51 Highland Park Village, Dallas.
214-219-1753
Sun. noon-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Williams-Sonoma.com


BEST EYEWEAR AND CARE
Uptown Vision
2504 Cedar Springs Road.
214-953-3937
Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
UptownVisionDallas.com

BEST BOOKSTORE
Borders
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3600 McKinney Ave.
214. 219. 0512
Sat. 9 a.m.-11 p.m.,
Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
VisitBorders.com

BEST FLORIST
All Occasions Florist
3428 Oak Lawn Ave.
800-598-0898
Sat. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
AllOccasionsDallas.com

BEST THRIFT STORE
Goodwill
(Various locations in the U.S.)
1606 Greenville Ave.
214-824-4351
Sun.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
GoodwillDallas.org


BEST DOMESTIC AUTO DEALERSHIP
Sewell Buick Pontiac GMC
7474 Lemmon Ave.
888-572-5577
Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.,
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
SewellPontiac.com

BEST GARDEN CENTER
Home Depot
6000 Skillman St.
214-750-5927
Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.,
Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
HomeDepot.com

BEST LEATHER SHOP
Leather Masters
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3000 Main St., Dallas.
214-528-3865
Tue.-Sat. noon-10 p.m.
LeatherMasters.com

BEST EROTIC GEAR
Leather Masters
(Various locations in the U.S.)
3000 Main St., Dallas.
214-528-3865
Tue.-Sat. noon-10 p.m.
LeatherMasters.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 21, 2008

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