Thursday, March 16, 2006
SHOPPING CENTER Del Monte Center
1410 Del Monte Center, Monterey | 373-2705
…For a while there, Del Monte Center was playing a dangerous game of dice with its reputation for cool. Not anymore. While Macy’s still anchors the joint, new shops have cropped up like crazy since the opening of the Century Theater. There’s ice cream, shoes, denim, sporting goods, groceries, restaurants, coffee and anything else the stroll-aholic could dare dream of. It’s no wonder readers are flocking to the place in droves nowadays. There’s a little something for everyone and a movie when all is said and done.
ARTS AND CRAFTS STORE Beverly Fabrics and Crafts
2090 North Fremont Blvd, Monterey 646-5141 | 344 Main St, Salinas 422-1508
…Walking into Beverly’s is like being a kid let loose in a candy store. There’s fabric for sewing, pens for drawing, stickers for sticking and glitter for, well, there are just so many possibilities! Whether your vice is scrapbooking or puffy paints, there is no creative project that can’t be conquered with the help of Beverly’s.
ANTIQUE SHOP Trotter’s Antiques
590 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove | 373-3505
…For 41 years Lee Trotter has been applying two criteria to the antique dishes, glassware, furniture and miscellany that come her way. “If it’s pretty and good, I’ll take it,” she says. “I love it all.” In February the store moved to its new location on Lighthouse Avenue, where it’s currently wowing passersby with a window display that includes an early 19th-century sofa and a glorious banquet table with 12 chairs. Guess beauty and quality will always be in style.
BANK Wells Fargo
With friendly tellers, free coffee and ATMs inside Safeway, it’s no wonder Weekly readers rate Wells Fargo their top banking choice. Plus the stagecoach is really cool.
BIKE STORE Joselyn’s Bicycles
398 E. Franklin St, Monterey | 649-8520
…Flat tire? Chain come loose? Your rear brake useless? Or simply need another bike? Be it BMX, mountain or road, biking is fun and healthy, and Joselyn’s has all you need to do it right.
BOOKSTORE—USED Books ‘n’ Things
224 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey | 655-8784
…Seventy thousand books in more than 300 categories line every available square inch of space in this bibliophile’s fantasyland. This is what a used book store is supposed to be—quiet, aromatic, intimate and cheap, with a wondrous array of volumes new and old jammed high on bookshelves and stacked crazy in the aisles. Perfection.
BOOKSTORE—NEW Borders Books and Music
2080 California Ave, Sand City 899-6643 | 222 Del Monte Center, Monterey 373-0987
…If you get it in your head that you will make a quick visit to Borders Books and Music and then leave right after you found what you thought you needed, forget about it. Make an afternoon of it. It’s OK to splurge on books here. Really.
CAR DEALERSHIP—NEW Victory Toyota
5 Heitzinger Plaza, Seaside | 393-3020
…It helps to have a great product, but without courteous salespeople, a competent parts and service department and bilingual capability, all those shiny new Toyotas and Scions would just sit there on the lot gathering dust.
CAR DEALERSHIP—USED Cardinale Automotive Group
…At every one of its seven dealerships around the county—Volkswagen and Mazda in Salinas and Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and GMC in Seaside—Cardinale sells quality used cars. If you want a beater, troll the classifieds. But if you’re looking for a smooth ride, something you can show up at your parents’ house in, one of Cardinale’s lots is where you want to be.
CAR REPAIR SHOP Tom’s Auto Repair
870 Abrego St, Monterey | 372-5854
…The key word here is not carburetor. The big idea is not brakes. And the main thrust is not mufflers. When it comes to auto repair, the trump understanding is trust. And that’s what Tom Hillesheim and his staff, who have been in business for 16 years, earn with honest diagnoses, straightforward talk and reliable results. Just ask his customers.
CAR WASH El Estero
590 Fremont Ave, Monterey | 373-1801
…Everyone’s vehicle deserves a good ol’ hand-washing every once in a while—especially when someone else is doing it. This is where El Estero Car Wash comes in to the picture. Whether you own a flashy whip or a bucket, you’ll drive away shining.
COMPUTER STORE PC People
534 Abrego St, Monterey | 649-5900
…Don’t take a sledgehammer to that dreaded machine just yet; call up the PC People and see if they can reason with it. If not, then aim for the center of the screen because it is the quickest way to destroy the damn thing.
DIVE SHOP Aquarius
2040 Del Monte Ave, Monterey | 375-1933
…Aquarius Dive Shop is the perennial favorite in the Weekly’s annual readers’ poll, not just because it’s been around since 1970 but also because its staff knows Monterey diving as well as anyone in the world. It has top-of-the-line equipment, great dive instruction, spectacular trips and unparalleled sales knowledge. Plus, the people at Aquarius make it a cool place to kick back for an hour and just talk diving.
DRY CLEANERS Pacific Grove Cleaners
222 Grand Ave, Pacific Grove | 375-2494
…For 80 years the Uchida family has been at the same location, laundering the finest textiles in Pagrovia with care and dependability. Turns out people like the combination of quality work and familiar faces. The bowl of chocolates out front probably doesn’t hurt, either.
ETHNIC MARKET International Market & Deli
580 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey| 375-9451
…Exotic delicacies of the Middle East are the specialty at this intimate storefront, where you can stock up on orange blossom water, palm oil, rose conserve, bulk spices and canned dolmas. Or just saunter in, order a gyros sandwich from the counter, take a seat and peruse the bilingual Turkish Times. The hummus here’s good, too.
FLORIST Swenson & Silacci
110 John St, Salinas 424-2725 | 432 Alvarado St, Monterey 375-2725
…How about a wicked cool plant for Dad just because? And a basket of exotics for your cosmetic surgeon because she tucked in all the right places? Every town needs its florist, the one whose truck you’re hoping is pulling up in front of your house. This is it. This is the county’s staple. And it’s earned the honors over the past 60 years with luscious creations, dependability, and just the right answer when you have no idea what to get the dentist who sacrificed hours of laser light just to get your teeth the right shade of knockout.
GOLF SHOP Golf Mart
2040 Fremont Blvd, Seaside | 583-1000
…It isn’t only the huge selection of clubs and the friendly service. Golf Mart has cleverly dedicated a portion of its 12,000 square feet of space to two hitting galleries and a golf simulator to help diagnose that kooky swing of yours. Kinda makes the decision about where to get the next Big Bertha easy.
HEALTH CLUB Monterey Sports Center
301 E. Franklin St, Monterey | 646-3700
…Monday: Get in on the clean and competitive noon-time hoops (usually two courts, also Wednesday and Friday). Tuesday: Do a circuit in the massive weight room. Wednesday: Take the high-energy Pilates-yoga combo class known as “core fusion.” Thursday: Get the gang together for some co-ed volleyball (call ahead so they can get the nets ready). Friday: Hit the Cardio Center’s rower and step mill. Saturday: Take a well-earned lark on the waterslide. Sunday: Feel five years younger.
YOGA STUDIO Bikram Yoga Sanctuary
170 Central Ave, Pacific Grove | 333-1007
…Many of us know someone, most likely a woman, who often complains of feeling cold. Perhaps Bikram yoga at the Yoga Sanctuary is for her. Performed in a heated room, this fairly strenuous yogic discipline reportedly flushes toxins, prevents injury and works other miracles like slowing the aging process, blasting bad cholesterol and improving fertility. Hot stuff, indeed.
MASSAGE THERAPIST Frank Savino at Aquablue
229 Main St, Salinas | 422-2500
…Frank’s got three rules by which he believes his clientele should live: relaxation, rejuvenation and results. It’s impossible not to reach each of the three levels under the strength and skill of his hands. So go ahead, let go. Give in and let Frank do all the work. You’ll wonder where he’s been all your life.
SPA Spa on The Plaza
201 Alvarado St, Monterey | 647-9000
…Spa owners Camille and Roy Malcolm say that a visit to the spa should nurture on many levels. So whether one’s idea of de-stressing and well-being involves a relaxing massage or serenity wrap, a refreshing swim or an energizing workout in the fitness center, Spa on the Plaza offers a holistic spa experience in a beautiful environment. The Spa offers cosmetic enhancement from Monterey Bay Laser Aesthetics. Amenities also include whirlpool, plunge pool and private sauna, and don’t forget to ask about locals’ specials.
SALON Hair by Dzann
838 S Main St, Salinas | 424-9376
…Under new ownership for a year now, Dzann has changed its décor from pink and mauve to red and animal prints—and forever changed the face of beauty in Salinas. Now the salon, staffed by hip locals, is a veritable hive of highlighting and straightening activity. (We got a hint about an imminent trend: look for body waves to be all the rage this summer.)
TANNING SALON Janika
234 Monterey St, Salinas | 753-1400
…Twelve tanning beds, 5,000 square feet and a Magic Tan stall with three options of spray-on healthy glow: light, medium and dark. If you can’t get a tan here, sister, you won’t get one anywhere. Before leaving, consider a fresh pedicure or a sashay through the cute clothing department out front.
BEST ESTHETICIAN Jessica Knecht at Aquablue
229 Main St, Salinas | 422-2500
…There are two fashion accessories that are always with a woman: her skin and her hair. Jessica Knecht is the person you want in charge of the first. When it’s dull and tired, she knows how to spruce it up and get it glowing again. When it’s freaked out and broken out, she knows how to calm it down and let it find its inner peace. We’re all beautiful deep down. Knecht knows how to coax the pretty out of its hiding place.
FURNITURE STORE Homescapes Carmel
Seventh and Dolores, Carmel | 624-6499
…Calling Homescapes a furniture store is like calling Cirque du Soleil a circus. The place is a state of mind. Imbued with a hip, international Zen chic, Homescapes brings exquisite home furnishing from around the world to its “oasis for the soul” showroom in Carmel. Featured in Sunset Magazine and nominated for the 17th Annual ARTS Award for “Furniture Store of the Year, Western United States, 2006,” it’s clear Homescapes isn’t a local secret.
JEWELRY STORE Gasper’s Jewelers
447 Alvarado St, Monterey 375-5332 | 510 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove 648-1550
…Gasper’s is a must for both purchasing and repairing your bling. They are full-service jewelers who specialize in platinum, diamonds and color stones. Plus they’ve been around for 18 years and are family-owned and operated.
INTERNET PROVIDER Redshift
712 Hawthorne St, Monterey | 655-8710
…There’s one especially good reason to buy your Internet access from a local provider: When something goes wrong and you call in a panic, they answer the phone. You’re not getting transferred and put on hold and blown off and finally landing in the earpiece of some geek in Chennai 11 time zones away. You’re getting a homegrown geek. At Redshift they answer the phone with a chipper “We’re here to help!” And to the distressed would-be Internet surfer marooned on a frozen-screen island, those are the most beautiful words in the world.
MEN’S CLOTHING STORE Khaki’s of Carmel
3744 The Barnyard, Carmel | 625-8106
…To paraphrase a Supreme Court justice, most of us know high-quality men’s apparel when we see it. It’s something about the nap of the fabric, the way the jacket falls, the stitching of the shirt, the cut of the trousers. And yet it’s rarely a matter of flash. This is the world of Khaki’s—style so self-assured it need not call attention to itself. We could act surprised that it won, but that would be disingenuous. And there’s really no need for that.
WOMEN’S CLOTHING BOUTIQUE Bliss Boutique
266 Main St, Salinas | 757-4055
…It’s the height of fashion in the heart of Oldtown Salinas with unique handbags, jewelry and women’s clothing at a range of price points. Bliss carries clothing lines from Buffalo, Miss Me, Free People, Dubois and Rubber Ducky, among others, and offers trendy chic styles that fashionable Monterey Countyites won’t find anywhere else.
SECONDHAND CLOTHING STORE Goodwill
571 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey 649-6056 | 729 Broadway Ave, Seaside 394-1212 | 708 E Alisal St, Salinas 424-5346 | 1045 N Main St, Salinas 755-8668
…Be bold. Be thrifty. Make your own style. Go to Goodwill. It offers chic clothing at bargain-basement prices and, as an added bonus, the “hunt” adds a challenging twist to make shopping extra enjoyable. Go. Be bold. Be thrifty. Make your own style.
SHOE STORE Head Over Heels
246 Main St, Salinas | 772-0512
…It’s what every local shoe fiend has been waiting (not so patiently) for: a shoe boutique in Oldtown Salinas where a girl can find this season’s hottest platform pumps, wedge espadrilles and peep-toe flats (not to mention handbags and jewelry). But back to shoes, the aptly-named Head Over Heels carries brands including Carlos by Carlos Santana, Franco Sarto, Seychelles, BC Footwear, Sketchers and Pazzo. Finally, Oldtown has arrived.
STORE FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Wise Music
233 Monterey St, Salinas | 424-7885
…Any store with an accordion section has already won a place in our hearts. Add to that Wise Music’s impressive selection of electric and acoustic guitars, basses, violins, keyboards, drums and new and used sound equipment for the garage band member in all of us, and color us devoted fans.
NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET Grove Market
242 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove | 375-9581
…Grove Market is old school. It’s comforting knowing everyone who works in a local grocery store by name. In addition to tremendous personal service, Grove Market has great selection, fantastic produce and one of the best meat departments in the county. In addition, they carry a lot of local delicacies and products that you can’t find at the big national chains.
OUTDOOR GEAR STORE Outdoor World
2222 N Fremont St, Monterey | 373-3615
…Be honest. Is there really a snowball’s chance in hell that you’re going to scale Wheeler Peak next winter and therefore need that $350 ultra-light four-season tent? In a world of chic outdoor gear boutiques, Outdoor World continues to dominate because of its wide range of basic equipment at low prices. Once you figure out what you really need for outdoor fun, chances are Outdoor World has it.
9220 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel 626-0680 | 1021 David Ave, Pacific Grove 373-4495
…The selection of lavender for sale at Grigg’s PG location last spring was mind-boggling. There must have been eight varieties available in three sizes of pots. It’s precisely this kind of abundance that draws discerning gardeners to Grigg’s in droves each spring in pursuit of the perfect ornamentals. But even dilettantes will enjoy a stroll along Grigg’s gravel path, and they may even get bitten by the gardening bug.
PET STORE Petsmart
1265 N. Davis Rd, Salinas 775-0318 | 2020 California Ave, Sand City 392-0150
…Petsmart sells products and supplies for just about every Monterey County pet, from horses to chinchillas to iguanas. And, of course, your more run-of-the-mill dogs, cats and goldfish. Both stores also offer grooming and training services as well as cat and dog adoption centers. Pets are welcome, and, unlike small children, they don’t usually throw a temper tantrum when you refuse to buy them a new rawhide chew or CritterTrail.
PHARMACY Longs Drug Stores
…When regulars pick up their prescriptions, they are greeted by name. Refills are often ready the same day, information on the tangled new Medicare plans is available and you can get your cholesterol and bone density tested several times a year. That’s good medicine.
PHOTO STORE Green’s Camera
350 Main St, Salinas 424-5247 | 472 Alvarado St, Monterey 655-1234 | 213 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove 373-3742 | Ocean Ave, Carmel 625-9066
…Green’s staff always takes time with customers, so even beginners can feel comfortable walking in and finding what they need. With a large selection of cameras, film, photo paper and matting and framing materials, Green’s has everything you need to get out and start clicking away.
GROCERY STORE Whole Foods
800 Del Monte Center, Monterey | 333-1600
…Consistently gorgeous produce, a well-stocked bulk section for the health- and budget-minded, a full-service seafood and butcher shop featuring conscientiously caught and raised animal products, a bakery and a staggering selection of cheeses make Whole Foods a natural choice for many Peninsula hunter-gatherers. Add a great wine shop, a deli and a veritable wonderland of body care products and what you have is no longer merely a grocery store but a shopping destination in its own right.
SELECTION OF LIQUORS Bottles ‘n’ Bins
898 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey 375-5488 | 1291 10th St, Monterey 372-8998
…Liquor stores can be such sorry places. Not so Bottles ‘n’ Bins, where the counter help is cheerful and well-informed. The store specializes in California wines, with scads of local labels represented, and carries a well-balanced selection of six-packs and 22-ounce microbrews. Behind the counter looms a wall of serious hooch spanning the spectrum from well-quality booze to premium spirits. The bourbon selection is worth noting.
WINE MARKET Zeph’s One Stop
1366 S. Main St, Salinas | 757-3947
…This airy, unpretentious shrine to all things vinous has a lot of things to recommend it. One is its monthly tastings, usually the third Thursday of the month, featuring a varietal or a winemaker. Another is its treasure trove of high-end Cabernets. Still another is the depth of its inventory, which includes some verticals (that means you can try the same wine in successive vintages, a nifty way to assess a vineyard). And the several other hundred things going for Zeph’s are lined up on the shelves, waiting to be purchased and enjoyed. The wine bar, pouring 24 different selections each day, will help you figure out which ones to take home this time.
SEAFOOD MARKET Sea Harvest
100 Crossroads Blvd, Carmel 626-3626 | 598 Foam St, Monterey 646-0547 | 2420 Highway 1, Moss Landing 728-8686
…Got ahi? Got oysters? Got a whole halibut or salmon for a backyard barbecue? Sea Harvest’s wide selection of seafood is the freshest in town, and the savvy employees know where everything is from and how it was caught. They can even advise you on how to cook it—or, if you decide to sit down and enjoy some classic American seafood right then and there, they’ll do that part for you too.
ORGANIC PRODUCE Whole Foods
800 Del Monte Shopping Center, Monterey | 333-1600
…There’s one thing that stinks about organic produce as sold in most of the stores that even bother to carry it, and it’s not the produce. It’s the selection. Alas, there is one exception: Whole Foods. Can’t find organic purple potatoes, parsley, horseradish roots, Japanese yams, gold and red beets or rainbow chard? Look no further. Whole Foods also tells you where the produce is from so you can shop even more cleverly than before.
GOURMET STORE Whole Foods
800 Del Monte Shopping Center, Monterey | 333-1600
…First of all, how did they possibly cram all that good stuff into that little building? And how do they maintain that supply of stunning produce? Whether you’re just dropping in for a quick shot of wheatgrass, grabbing a healthy bite from the deli hotline, or just marveling at the vast selection of great cheeses and olives, Whole Foods is where it’s at for today’s foodie/purist.
PLUMBER A and R Plumbing
1720 Contra Costa, Sand City | 394-7221
…In 1974 Greg Aeschliman and Kelly Roper teamed up to provide dependable, no-frills plumbing service for residents of the Peninsula. Today their 20 technicians roam the area servicing new houses and remodels and come to the rescue of distraught victims of plumbing malfunctions. They’re a family affair—Roper’s kids still run the office—and, as their understated style implies, they remain no-frills.
ELECTRICIAN Bruno Electric
720 Dias Ave, Sand City | 899-8826
…A lot of people will take hammer to nail in the name of home improvement. They might even wiggle under the house and put pipe to pipe if they’re brave or broke enough. But few, precious few, will stand up on a ladder and set wire to wire. That’s why there’s Bruno Electric—because the rest of us wisely accept our limits.
HARDWARE STORE Orchard Supply Hardware
800 Playa Ave, Sand City 899-5144 | 1067 N Davis Rd, Salinas 422-9652
…Born in 1931 as a collective of San Jose prune growers, OSH happily remains Monterey County’s first choice for hardware and home improvement supplies. Grills, lawn furniture, plumbing fixtures, paint, shelving, lawn and garden supplies—everything your castle requires can be found within these familiar walls, and if you have trouble locating it, the friendly staff is more than willing to help.
RETIREMENT FACILITY Canterbury Woods
651 Sinex Ave, Pacific Grove | 373-3111
…Wow. Six acres adjacent to Pebble Beach, proximity to golf courses and walking trails, three squares a day (jacket and tie at dinner, please) and weekly housecleaning service, all of which leaves plenty of time for tai chi, mah jong, recorder practice, ESL tutoring, movie night and discussion groups. Now that’s what the golden years are supposed to be about.
PLACE TO BUY MUSIC Wherehouse
1680 Del Monte Shopping Center, Monterey 372-1236 | 1712 N Main St, Salinas 449-4320
…Even though it’s a national chain, the Wherehouse is still one of those places where you can dig around on the shelves and find one of those “hidden gem” albums. It’s also apparent that the folks here put equal care and attention into maintaining each section, because albums from obscure artists of any genre can be found there.
PLACE TO BUY A CELL PHONE Verizon Wireless
1790 N Main St, Salinas 442-7850 | 796 Northridge Shopping Center, Salinas 449-3812 | 836 Playa Ave, Sand City 393-8290
…It’s the best place to buy a cell phone. It’s The Best Place To Buy A Cell Phone. IT’S THE BEST PLACE TO BUY A CELL PHONE! Can you hear me now?
SURF SHOP On The Beach
693 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey | 646-WAVE
…On The Beach continues to dominate the lineup, primarily because owner Kelly Sorenson caters to local teenagers looking for Roxy, Billabong and Hollister clothing as much as he caters to the local hardcore surfers looking for wax and neoprene. Plus, OTB’s new, bigger Lighthouse Avenue store has boosted visibility and increased its off-the-street draw.
THRIFT STORE Goodwill
571 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey 649-6056 | 729 Broadway St, Seaside 394-1212 | 708 E Alisal St, Salinas 424-5346 | 1045 N Main St, Salinas 755-8668
…For the sake of empirical knowledge, a goofy-looking writer recently sauntered into the Goodwill store in Seaside to see if he could secure everything his heart desired: a wedding gift, some board shorts and a stylish salt shaker. He did not. He did, however, do way better. He scored some rowdy Mossimo cargo trousers ($6.99), a substantial fake plant ($4.99), and (with Goodwill gods apparently smiling down from above) a hot pink stuffed animal resembling a grub with oversized eyes ($1). The thrift-dream-sequence continued through checkout as the clerk called him “precious,” “honey” and “my love.”
VIDEO AND DVD RENTAL STORE Hollywood Video
Various locations in Monterey County
…Of course Hollywood Video, with five locations in Monterey County, has the hottest new movie rentals like North Country and Walk the Line. In addition, the popular chain rents out movies like the 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation from its classics section and the Bob Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back from the special interest shelf.
SHOE REPAIR SHOP Federico’s
542 Abrego St, Monterey | 649-3322
…Weekly readers don’t trust their soles to anyone else. Federico’s buffs, shines, and even rebuilds heels better than any other shoe repair shop. And (here’s the best part) the shoe experts at Federico’s do it without the agonizing wait. Customers can drive through and have their shoes repaired while they wait, so they never, ever have to go even a day without their favorite pair of Jimmy Choos.
TOY STORE Sandcastles by the Sea
3776 The Barnyard, Carmel | 626-8361
…There are varying degrees of cool to kids. There’s “I want what Little Jimmy has” cool. And then there’s “I saw it on a commercial” cool. And then there’s that cool that comes from knowing you have something no one else does. Not because of privilege, not because it’s unpopular, but because your parents know where to shop to find stuff so untouched by the mainstream that it’s cool. If you can imagine it, you’ll find it here. And then some.