Arts & Culture News

Your Guide to the Shops on Lower Greenville

Amid a residential area surrounded by charming old homes, Greenville Avenue shimmers with its gripping nightlife. With venues like Granada Theater and Crown and Harp guarding both its ends, and great restaurants and bars in between, the area's become something like Deep Ellum's less naughty little sister. So despite Trader Joe's and other retail presence, it may surprise many to learn that civilization actually gathers there for business during the AM hours. With gems that range from boutiques with one-of-a-kind pieces to a veritable witches' store, these shops are unmissable and well-worth heading out to before sunset attracts a swarm of barflies.

Corner Market Flowers 3426 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX Corner Market is a European-looking café and bistro, attached to it is a whimsical flower shop, a non-commercial Pottery Barn of odd, but tasteful, items such as iron mermaids and magnifying glasses with frog handles. An un-shabby chic shop of fanciful wild flower arrangements, whose succulents and hydrangeas will inspire thumbs to become spontaneously green. Buy a chocolate truffle from the deli as you dream of replicating the Secret Garden.

Leeward Liquor 3609 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX It was about time that Greenville produced a liquor store, and the owner had that exact nagging thought for five years before he finally did. It was well worth the wait. This boutique liquor store is a haven for rare whiskeys and local brands. In addition to having the lowest prices in the area and offering Scotch and cigar tastings, the friendly staff is quite sample-happy. If you're not sticking around the Greenville bars, avoid designating a driver by picking up a bottle and heading home.

Buffalo Exchange 3424 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX This used-clothing store is nationwide, but this location stands out with a lively atmosphere made up by its young staff. It has every trend from psycho-killer heels to the kind of wonderfully retro outfits you'd see on Zooey Deschanel. Like the Half Price Books of clothing stores, you can sell or exchange your own used clothing for store credit. Not only do they collaborate with three different charities, you've now found a way to avoid being seen (gasp) wearing the same outfit twice.

Live Hair Group 3609 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX This contemporary salon offers a unique experience throughout, beginning by giving you a tour of the space, which holds a small gallery showcasing local artists' work. Their brilliant hair-washing stations have beds instead of seats. With unassigned stations, dry-haircuts only and "bangs specialists" who have worked with Petra Nemcova, this is the place the Granada refers touring musicians to, and where artsy ladies get their impossibly architectural haircuts.

Society Bakery 3610 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX This colorful bakery is adorably delicious. All their products feel old-fashioned and home-made, like their M&M and sugar cookies, 4-layered cakes, and quiches. If you need further convincing, they've been featured in People magazine as having some of the country's top cupcakes. Don't take it from us, Ellen Degeneres gets her orders shipped directly, as it's one of her favorites.

HD's Clothing Co. 3018 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX With an unrelated gym that amusingly divides the men's and women's locales as an unwanted barrier, a strong word-of-mouth has kept these twin boutiques standing since 1981. The women's store is made up of quirky and fancy street wear imported from Paris and Italy. The men's has international brands of new vintage-looking shirts and high-end denim. Buyer/associate HD, who's so charmingly eccentric he's worth the visit alone, describes their core customer as "a guy who smokes a joint and is out and about". He's so sure you'll look good in his clothes, he'll throw in some free condoms.

Oak Clips Pet Boutique & Grooming 3615 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX Oak Clips, from -you guessed it- Oak Cliff, is a Whole Foods for pets: Gourmet, all-natural, and more excessively high-end than most human foods. They sell shampoos and baffling cans of organic sweet potato for your pet's sophisticated palates. Their grooming services have a quick turn-around, cleaning your dogs teeth and anal glands in one short visit, leaving plenty of time to get your dog to Yoga.

Amarty 2802 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX More than a women's clothing store, Amarty is a land in which adults may play dress-up. The heavily draped dressing rooms beg you to try everything on, be it a beaded couture gown or a unique piece of Eastern jewelry. Their imaginative derby hats are fit for a royal picnic, and their clothes are near-fantasy items, with ensembles Doris Day would've pulled off sharply.

Jaylee's Smoke Shop 2913 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX At this psychedelic store, you can't help but hear Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit playing as an imaginary soundtrack. The smoke shop has a multitude of intricate glass pipes for all occasions and substances. To maximize side-effects, pick up a black light poster or 3D tapestry for the next time the ol' McCounaghey-playing-bongos mood strikes .

Dude, Sweet Chocolate 1925 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX If you bought what we think you bought at Jaylee's, your next stop should be a visit to this chic chocolate store. The chocolatiers are on their third Dallas location, and their branding is pure genius. With simple packaging and clever names like "Break-Up potion", all products, from chocolate spreads to fudge, are sinfully delectable. But also intriguing: On display are the colored chocolate skulls holding the Flaming Lips limited-edition CDs, made by owner Katherine Clapner, and samples of their chocolate "salami".

Transit Bicycle Co. 1915 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX Transit is a bicycle store and full-service shop that's also a gathering for bike lovers. Their focus is on utility-oriented bikes as a means of transportation and not a sport, custom-designing bikes to fit rider's needs, offering free classes on "Woman's maintenance", brakes, or bike touring. In addition, they host bike rides, for women only on Mondays and all-inclusive on Saturdays, creating a "Bicycle riders' anonymous" form of community.

Bullzerk 1909 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX Sure, the clever T-shirt thing has been a trend for the last 12 years, but this store's T-shirts, which you may have seen worn proudly around town, have Dallas-specific sayings that need to be said. Owner Dan Bradley, formerly in marketing, grew tired of Dallas gift shops selling cheap clichéd tourist items, and focused on making quality garments by way of American Apparel T-shirts. The print shop collaborates on client's designs, intent on keeping with the brand's aesthetic. With sayings such as "Keep Dallas Boring"or "Lived on Greenville Before It was Cool", it's nearly impossible to not partake in the joke.

Voodoo Chile 5643 Bell Ave, Dallas, TX The most interesting shops in the Greenville area are actually on a side street called Bell, and the weirdest of all is Voodoo Chile. The red house with a red door harbors a vintage shop where the clothing selection looks like it was pulled out of Mr. and Mrs. Roper's closet. This habitat of curiosity items has a remarkable abundance of mushroom cookie jars among other random bits of kitsch and rarities, vinyl records and original artwork. If you ever woke up with a need to purchase a sculpture of Hitler on a cross, you've come to the right place.

Death or Glory Tattoo 5623 Bell Ave, Dallas, TX There are several tattoo shops on Greenville, but none are more attractive than Death and Glory, as the colorful old home that houses it calls your skin to its needles like the candy house in Hansel and Gretel. Specializing in traditional tattoos, the locale is squeaky-clean, well-kept, and inexplicably full of taxidermy. They boast of being the number one tattoo shop on Yelp and rotate seven talented tattoo artists, ready to get you inked under the watchful eye of a deer head.

The Labyrinth 5618 Bell Avenue, Dallas, TX The self-proclaimed "Oldest witch shop in Dallas" is a purple house pulled straight out of Tim Burton's fantasy. Ran by good witches Cerina and Umarai, who sell "spells and potions" in the form of readings, their own spell candles and healings. Here you'll find fascinating jars of herbs, crystals, and anything that would fit in a cauldron. Enchanting psychic Cerina, who's read for Alanis Morisette and Erykah Badu, will likely tell you gypsy stories while reading your aura. It's a surprisingly busy store full of eclectic clientele, from military folks to purple-haired girls who've just watched The Craft, in search of tarot cards or magical stones.

Good Records 1808 Greenville Ave. You probably already know about this spot, as most Dallas music lovers have spent countless hours digging through the racks of vinyl and cds, but if you're new to town and looking for your go-to record shop, this is it. Good Records plays host to concerts, Record Store Day, and the selection is pretty kickass. Looking for a brand new Courtney Barnett vinyl? Stop in here.

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Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio