Days are long on the trade-show circuit, whether navigating the aisles of a cavernous convention center or packing in a full schedule of B2B seminars.
Yes, the big reward is making that huge sale—or discovering that key item and placing an order. But another perk is sitting down to a nice dinner after a long day or finding that perfect new little boutique that has a great selection of merchandise you can’t resist.
New restaurants and shops are popping up all the time, but here’s a selection of some of the latest hot spots that will help you make your trade-show foray in the nation’s major cities even more of an adventure.
208 Lincoln Blvd.
To be sure, there was fashion star power at the Oct. 14 debut of the Mona Moore boutique in Los Angeles’ Venice section. But none of the guests seemed to make a big deal about it.
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the award-winning Rodarte label hosted the debut of the 2,000-square-foot shop. The Mulleavys posed for pictures with Mona Moore owner Lisa Bush, but the evening’s attention seemed geared to the clothes.
Designers include Rodarte, Ann Demeulemeester, Marni, The Row, Visvim, Lemaire, Molly Goddard and Maison Margiela.
The retailer curates a merchandise mix with a specific point of view. The store owner said the clothes are for those who are “aesthetically fearless.”
“It’s somebody who has a passion for clothes and likes to be adventurous when it comes to dressing,” she said. “They’ll try it if it is fun and creative. Too much good taste is boring. I’m looking for someone who is willing to take a risk and own it.”
Mona Moore has been selling women’s fashion in Venice since 2009. Bush relocated to the intersection of Lincoln and Rose avenues in part to do business in a bigger space. It will be a bigger gathering spot for kindred spirits.
“There are people who know about Mona Moore all over the world. They make a pilgrimage,” Bush said. “They feel that they will come into Mona Moore and find their people.”
1124 San Julian St.
Up until now, most of the fine-dining experiences available in downtown Los Angeles have been concentrated in the hipper area of the Arts District or the financial world on Bunker Hill.
But all that has changed with the opening of Rossoblu, an Italian-style eatery that occupies a prominent space at City Market South, just blocks away from the California Market Center at its location at 11th and San Julian streets.
City Market South was one of the area’s first produce markets and is now being renovated by the Lena Group, which in 2013 saw an opportunity to convert the 1909 hulking brick structure into a destination for dining, entertainment and creative office spaces.
The complex’s industrial look and tall windows have proved a plus for Rossoblu, opened in June under the guidance of chef Steve Samson. Tall windows provide ample light inside the eatery and highlight the enormous wall mural that dominates the dining room. The larger-than-life art was created by the local art collective Cyrcle and gives diners the impression they are eating inside an enormous art gallery. A large piazza outside provides opportunities for outdoor dining.
Samson is no stranger to the Italian dining circuit in Southern California. His other two Italian eateries in the area are Sotto, serving wood-baked Neapolitan pizza and Southern Italian dishes on Pico Boulevard, and Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa.
But you won’t find pizza on the menu at Rossoblu, which is only open for dinner. Instead, Samson is using his years of growing up part-time in Bologna, Italy, and injecting some tried-and-true homemade recipes that only a good Italian grandmother could pass down.
Some favorites from this Bolognese-inspired menu are the tortellini in brodo, a chicken soup–like dish with pork, chicken, beef, mortadella, prosciutto and Parmesan cheese in chicken broth or the Nonna’s tagliatelle in a Bolognese tomato sauce with beef and pork. The strozzapreti (pasta that looks like a small rolled towel), served with clams, shrimp and lobster mushrooms is another temptation in the pasta section of the menu.
Heartier main dishes include roasted suckling pig and milk-braised pork shoulder as well as grilled Santa Barbara spot prawns and crisp rainbow trout served with broccoletti and sauce.
Right now, City Market South’s offices are not fully occupied, and it is still awaiting the arrival of the Slanted Door restaurant next year. That means that outdoor dining spaces are ample as is parking.
556 Hayes St.
Organic food has become big business, but ecologically sustainable clothing has yet to become a major concern with the fashion public. “They don’t think about what they put on their bodies,” said San Francisco Bay Area boutique retailer Randy Brewer.
He is not frustrated with this state of the market. Rather, it’s an invitation for a small businessperson to get more involved in eco-fashion.
“The giant corporations like Amazon have not touched on it,” Brewer said of fashion with a sustainable edge. “There is still a niche where a boutique can make a good business.”
It’s one reason why he is looking to expand Convert. He started the sustainable-fashion boutique in 2010 in Berkeley, Calif. In 2014, he opened a Convert location in San Francisco’s stylish Hayes Valley neighborhood.
It offers brands such as American-made Raleigh Denim Workshop. Also in the merchandise mix, Seattle-based Prairie Underground, which uses organic cotton. Other brands include Nau, a Portland brand that also makes clothes from organic cotton and recycled polyester.
The San Francisco store’s flooring is from locally sourced tiles. It also has a whisky bar for patrons who would like a drink when they shop.
Outside the San Francisco store, Brewer posted a sign stating that consumers can make a difference in the world if they buy fashions with an eco edge. Yet for most of the store’s patrons, it’s not an overriding concern. Environmental fashions are a bonus.
“We make sure that things are on point fashion-wise. It has to look nice and be functional,” he said.
111 Mason St.
San Francisco has always been a cosmopolitan, sophisticated place that has a turn-of-the-century charm. That vibe has been incorporated in Gibson, an Art Deco–style restaurant that opened recently inside the Hotel Bijou, not far from Union Square.
The gem of an eatery makes you want to stay a while and take cover from the Bay Area fog. The restaurant and the Hotel Bijou are part of the gentrifying Tenderloin District, about a half block away from the Powell Street BART station.
The idea behind this new destination is shared plates cooked in a wood-fired hearth in the open kitchen. The dining room is intricately decorated with teal banquettes, dark-brown booths, white walls and ceiling murals by Italian artist Marco Battagini.
The chef de cuisine here is Robin Song, formerly of the Hog & Rocks restaurant in the Mission District, who was recruited to head up this culinary venture.
Diners have been giving their thumbs up to this new place for its shared dishes that are distinctive from other eateries and infused with flavorful ingredients and locally sourced food.
Favorites on the compact menu are the Sonoma duck cooked over the grill with beet root and blackberry; the slow-roasted and aged beef with bone marrow and eggplant; and the grilled winter squash with puffed grains, dandelion and bay laurel.
Other items include smoked trout with cheese and cucumbers on rye served up like a taco; carrots cooked in embers with sunflower, Medjool dates and Moorish spices; and clams served in a consommé with potatoes and sourdough bread.
The restaurant’s name comes from the famous Gibson Girl, the pen-and-ink illustrations created by graphic artist Charles Gibson at the turn of the 20th century.
Fashion Show Mall
3200 Las Vegas Blvd., Space 2280
Downtown Los Angeles–headquartered Eden Sky is on the move.
The retailer recently opened a boutique in the Fashion Show Mall, at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s on level two, near the center’s Neiman Marcus. The new shop will be an address for fashion for a woman willing to take a risk with her style, said Jessica Lee, creative director of Eden Sky.
“We’re all about confidence,” Lee said of the attitude she believes it takes to wear Eden Sky. “We’re all about ‘over the top.’ There are other companies that wouldn’t take the risk, but if it’s fun, we’ll try it.”
Eden Sky styles include a latex mini-skirt with chains, which retails for $39.99. There’s also track-style pants slit up to the waist. It retails for $29.99.
Eden Sky makes and sells basics. But the retailer got a much wider reaction when it made clothes with an edge, Lee said.
Other looks include T-shirt dresses, hoodie dresses, sheer dresses and fur-trim dresses. The retailer also makes footwear such as thigh-high boots and gladiator boots, bags in the shape of hair dryers, and 1980s radios.
The Fashion Show Mall store is the first Eden Sky location outside of California. The retailer runs four locations in the Golden State. There’s a location on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue, in the Del Amo Mall in Torrance, Valley Plaza in Bakersfield and Plaza Bonita in National City. In October, Eden Sky also opened a boutique at The Source retail center in Buena Park.
3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Modeled on a French country home, Primrose has a strong Gallic influence seen in its décor and menu.
This new restaurant is the newest addition to the Monte Carlo, which is being revamped and renamed the Park MGM.
The man behind the menu is Bryce Shuman, formerly of the Michelin-starred Betany in New York City, which shuttered at the end of last year.
Over the past few years, Shuman has been reaping praise for his culinary style and was named Food & Wine’s best new chef in 2015. He was also a James Beard Foundation finalist in 2015 for best new restaurant in the country.
With Primrose, the challenge is one with a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a space that has a huge patio overlooking the nearly completed pool.
The eatery has a residential feel with lots of artwork and photos clustered around various spaces, which include a grill, a garden bar, a foyer, a drawing room and a main dining room.
The menu does have some American classics, such as short ribs and salmon carpaccio. But the dining fare comes primarily from the south of France with a major emphasis on vegetables and fresh fish.
The French influence can be seen in the bouillabaisse, which has fish, octopus, mussels and clams in a tomato broth, and in the whole-roasted pig for two. Shuman is also using a grill powered by peach wood, almond wood and mesquite charcoal to grill organic chicken breasts, Mediterranean sea bass, king salmon and filet mignon.
One favorite has been the olive-oil poached salmon with brown butter, capers, lemon and potato purée.
For vegetarians there is the vegan spaghetti with tomatoes, basil and red chili and the veggie sliders with charcoal-roasted celery root, beet yams and aioli. Plenty of vegetable sides are available, including charcoal-roasted eggplant, grilled broccolini and artichoke, and olives.
Forty Five Ten
1615 Main St.
The 1-year-old downtown Dallas location of the Forty Five Ten boutique is big—Texas big. It’s a four-story, 37,000-square-foot shop offering women’s and men’s fashions as well as homewares. The fourth level of the emporium features a rooftop restaurant and lounge called Mirador.
Some have called Forty Five Ten the clothier of Dallas’s charity-ball set. The emphasis is on designers at the shop. Significant items displayed on the retailer’s website include an Adam Lippes wide-leg, long-sleeve jumpsuit, which retails for $1,290; a Saint Laurent single-breasted jacket, which retails for $2,890; and Maison Margiela long gloves, which retail for $1,155.
There’s an emphasis on European fashion houses at Forty Five Ten. It is part of a burgeoning fashion neighborhood that includes The Joule Hotel. The ground floor of the neo-gothic hotel is the address for the Dallas locations of pioneering Los Angeles boutiques Traffic, Taschen Library and TenOverSix.
Forty Five Ten is on the move. In July 2017, it opened a more than 800-square-foot shop in the California Wine Country town of Yountville.
1920 McKinney Ave.
For decades, The Water Grill has been an upscale seafood staple in California with outposts in downtown Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Monica and other spots.
But this year, the Southern California restaurant company extended its reach for the first time outside of California, landing in the heart of Uptown Dallas and surrounded by six steakhouses.
For years, the Water Grill has been heaped with rave reviews for its original downtown Los Angeles spot, which has always been a destination for important business meetings and culinary outings. That location, opened in 1989, was renovated in 2012, and another restaurant was opened in Santa Monica, which got the King Seafood Co. thinking about taking its seafood-restaurant concept on the national road.
The Water Grill specializes in flown-in fresh fish, which arrives daily with large selections of oysters, live king crabs, live Santa Barbara spot prawns and chilled shellfish. Diners have been enthusiastic about the blackened Texas redfish with braised red cabbage and potato fingerlings as well as the wild Eastern sea scallops with seasonal vegetables and Genovese sauce.
Whole fish such as European sea bass, wild Gulf red snapper and wild Brittany Dover sole can be ordered by the pound to be grilled or oven roasted. Each one serves more than three people.
To be sure, since this is Texas, there is a selection of steaks including filet mignon, prime rib eye and a 14-ounce New York strip steak.
The décor for the restaurant has not deviated from the traditional Water Grill nautical theme with a fisherman’s wharf look and a spacious patio that has a retractable roof and firepit.
807 Washington St.
Virgil Abloh, designer, DJ and “influencer” extraordinaire, recently deejayed a party at New York City’s Soho House for the debut of the Reign boutique. Now the hard work begins for the new store.
In a market that increasingly embraces mono-brand boutiques, Reign devoted its 1,600-square-foot space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to multi-brand fashion retail.
“I don’t think multi-brand is something of the past,” said Benito Quinonez, Reign’s store director. Consumers are still responsive to a merchant’s unique fashion point of view, and he believes there’s an opening in the market for it.
“We wanted to figure out how to bridge the gap between sneaker culture and high fashion,” Quinonez said.
Reign was founded as a partnership between Santino Loconte and Samsung Fashion Group, according to Reign’s website. Loconte previously served as a senior project director for the Pony footwear brand and as a sales vice president for the premium-jeans line G-Star Raw. Nadene Keisoglu serves as the buyer. Reign offers high-end designers such as Issey Miyake and Alexander McQueen, high-end streetwear brands such as Maharishi, accessories brands such as Mykita and lifestyle brands such as Public School, Stone Island and Levi’s Made & Crafted.
Quinonenz said that Reign will seek an edge through customer service. The store offers courier delivery of merchandise in New York City. It serves drinks such as still and sparkling water. There’s a courtyard in back of the store where patrons can relax during a Meatpacking District shopping trip.
38 E. 19th St. (212) 475-5829
Here’s a restaurant where you can eat and do your furniture shopping at the same time.
ABCV is the latest in the trio of eateries launched by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten in collaboration with Paulette Cole.
Vongerichten is all about sustainability, which is seen at the ABC Carpet & Home store, where ABCV is located alongside ABC Cocina and near ABC Kitchen.
The V in ABCV stands for vegetarian. The restaurant has a very extensive plant-based menu that has been getting favorable reviews since the destination opened this summer.
High-end vegetarian restaurants seem to be on a roll, as seen in Los Angeles where P.Y.T., a relatively new establishment in downtown Los Angeles started by Josef Centeno, was recently named one of the top restaurants in the city.
Vongerichten is no stranger to setting up eateries. He has several in the United States as well as in international locations such as Tokyo and St. Bart, but his culinary concentration is in New York.
While most diners are not vegetarians, the French chef’s ABCV has been gathering a group of nonvegetarian aficionados who are talking up the cuisine, which relies on sustainable and fresh ingredients. Some favorite dishes include appetizers such as charred zucchini baba ganoush served with dill and green chickpea hummus infused with Thai basil.
On the heavier side there are grilled caps of donko shiitakes served with caramelized fennel and spread with a green goddess dressing and a bit of yuzukosho. Most everyone seems to like the half or whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric tahini and pistachios.
Pastas include fresh spinach spaghetti with broccoli, kale, preserved lemon, garlic and saffron crumbs, and then there are the Beluga lentils with yams, broccoli stems and cilantro.
Fashion Boutique & Atelier
7061 SW 47th St.
A visit to Yas Gonzalez’s world is a window to the glamour and the hard work in Miami’s fashion scene.
Since 2012, the Cuban-born designer has been producing runway shows at Miami’s Swim Week for her self-named swimwear brand, Yas Gonzalez.
She also has been running a boutique and atelier in different neighborhoods in Miami. She recently moved the atelier devoted to her swimwear and ready-to-wear from the city of Coral Gables, Fla. On Oct. 12, she produced a debut party for her new address, a 1,200-square-foot space in Miami’s Bird Road Art District.
It’s a two-story space. Downstairs, visitors can hear the whir of sewing machines, where Gonzalez and her team of sewers make swimwear, her women’s line and bespoke clothing. The boutique is upstairs.
“We designed it in all white,” she said. “It’s a girl’s dream closet.” Some colorful glitter puts an accent into the white color scheme.”
Gonzalez’s latest styles were inspired by her recent trips to Cuba. Graphics of Cuban landmarks grace her swimwear and other styles. For fabrics, she uses a double-knit scuba cloth. She says the swimwear is cut to make women look thinner.
“That’s what I’m most known for. I make you look skinnier. You don’t have to spend money on a plastic surgeon. You can come here and get a dress to make you skinnier,” she joked.
Her other collections include Jazz by Yas, which features styles such as skirts, bodysuits, leggings and cocktail dresses bearing graphics of musical notes. Retail price points range from $49 to $250.
Mercato della Pescheria
412 Española Way (305) 534-5822
In Miami Beach, you can find a sliver of Spain on Española Way where two blocks of a quaint street have been blocked off to make way for a pedestrian oasis. The street was created in 1925 to give the effect of a Spanish village, with soaring palm trees, pink stucco buildings and twinkling outdoor lights.
Amid the Old World Spanish vibe, a piece of Italy has moved in with the new Mercato della Pescheria, a vibrant eatery that focuses on fresh seafood and handmade pastas. Fresh pasta hangs from wooden rods and whole fish chill on tubs of ice. There is a vast selection of Italian cheeses, and wine is everywhere in this focus on traditional Italian cuisine.
Mercato is actually a revamp of Café Nuvo, run by the same Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group and chef Alex Martinez. But here, seafood is more prominent on the menu. Mercato also has an incarnation in Las Vegas on the Grand Canal of the Venetian Hotel, taking over the spot once occupied by Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio until two years ago.
Walking into the eatery makes you feel like you have been whisked away to southern Italy, with patio dining, the smell of the ocean and a carefree ambiance. Standing on the sidewalk, you can watch chefs rolling out sheets of fresh pasta and then cutting them up to dry. Altogether, there are 15 different pasta dishes served in various incarnations. There’s everything from fettuccini Bolognese and gnocchi pomodoro to bucatini carbonara and spaghetti puttanesca.
There are ample selections of raw seafood. Diners have been enthusiastic about the mixed ceviche, which is a combination of seafood and fish, and the tuna tartare. Cooked seafood plates include Florida yellowtail snapper filet and whole Mediterranean sea bass.
For meat lovers, there is filet mignon and breaded veal cutlets.
4300 Paces Ferry Road Ste. 109
Vinings Jubilee describes itself as the first lifestyle center in Atlanta. One of its tenants is Hemline, which joined the retail center in 2012. Amid neighboring tenants such as Banana Republic, Francesca’s and Fab’rik, Hemline is a multi-brand purveyor of women’s fashion. The shop’s merchandise mix includes AG Jeans, Alice & Olivia, Chinese Laundry, Mara Hoffman, Trina Turk, Tom Ford, Wildfox and Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent.
Hemline started business in 1994 when Brazilian-born Brigitte Holthausen opened a boutique in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Since then, Holthausen has rolled out more than 20 Hemline locations in the American South.
The Atlanta Hemlines is located in a building that looks like a vintage house, complete with white awnings.
Recent styles trending at Hemline include faux-fur coats, camisole-style blouses, jumpsuits and jeans with distressing.
10 10th St. N.E.
You won’t need a passport to visit The Consulate, a relatively new Atlanta eatery thriving on international cuisine that carries you around the world.
The Consulate has an Old World atmosphere reminiscent of days gone by with its eclectic décor, which looks rather opulent on one side and artsy on the other. Not many restaurants have art pieces from Andy Warhol and Henri Matisse hanging on the wall. The place is filled with nooks and crannies, such as a library setting with walls of books.
The couple behind this restaurant is Doug Hines, who is responsible for the eatery’s rich interior design, and his wife, Mei Lin, who is the executive chef. Their plan is to open as many as eight restaurants in Atlanta, with this being the first.
The restaurant’s menu has a different twist to it. There are basically two sections: the Visa section and the Residents section. The Visa section concentrates on dishes from one country, which stay on the menu for 90 days and then rotate off. The Residents are international plates that are permanently on the menu.
Currently, the Visa menu is highlighting the cuisine of Ethiopia with dishes such as a red lentil stew with Berbere spices, onion, garlic and ginger or the Ethiopian chicken stew with potatoes, garlic and ginger. No Ethiopian meal would be possible without injera, a soft brown flat bread that can be as big as a napkin or the sambusas with mashed green lentils and onion.
On the Residents side of the menu, there are dishes such as the pan-seared scallops with lemon capers and butter sauce or the Korean-pulled duck confit. A favorite among diners has been the curry coxinhas, where Brazil meets India with morsels of pulled chicken, corn, cream cheese, coriander leaves, herbs and spices.
For a twist, China melds with Latin America in a Havana eggroll that contains slow-roasted pork, ham, Asiago cheese, house mustard and a pickle spear.
For those without a car, The Continental is conveniently located across the street from the Midtown train station, operated by MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.