BEST APARTMENT COMMUNITY 2020 | The Drakestone | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

Originally built in 1925, The Drakestone is a mix of modern and historic as the Dallas landmark is newly remodeled in the heart of downtown. The former Republic National Bank now holds a fitness center, resident lounges and working spaces (since it looks like we'll be working from home for the foreseeable future.) The new apartment complex also houses a rooftop spot that includes a panoramic view of the skyline. But what makes The Drakestone appealing most of all is its commitment to preserving the interior while adhering to the growing resident life in downtown. Sure, it's pricey, but it's a prime example of preservation that's modern, luxurious and uniquely Dallas.

Courtesy of Forever Young

Inside Forever Young's trove are more than 250,000 items including vinyl, CDs, cassettes, T-shirts, record players and collectibles. It's also where owner David Eckstrom evaluates potential buys from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He says collectability, sellability and condition are key factors for sellers seeking top dollar for their merchandise. "Condition falls more heavily on value for Elvis and the Beatles and the like," he says. "Otherwise, I'll buy [practically] anything in good shape because somebody will value it. If I don't have it, and they come in looking for it, I can't sell it them."

If you're about that "vape life" then 710 Vape is the palace for you to find the necessary accessories to ensure you're puffing safely. With a variety of vapes, e-juices and alternative smoking options, 710 Vape ensures that they will meet the high (hehe) standards of their customers with the products they sell. With free shipping for orders over $35, there's no need to leave the comfort of your own couch. 710 Vape has a variety of collectible items that will sit nicely next to your vape and/or intricately designed "blown glass."

The Nikon Icon

Erica Campbell. Cardi B. Beyoncé. Haitian womenswear designer Venny Etienne of Levenity is more than just a local fave; he's becoming a household name. Whether it's brushing up on all things couture in Paris or in the Harlem atelier of Dapper Dan, the Project Runway designer continues to rack up win after win, including his recent collaboration with the Queen Bey for her highly acclaimed Black Is King film. The sky is the limit for the talented ready-to-wear designer with all standing back to see which celebrity or runway or film his styles will grace next.

In a game of "I Spy," it wouldn't be hard to spot Don Morphy founder and Cameroon native Daniel Mofor on the streets of Dallas or anywhere else. His knack for tailoring, Italian flair, bursts of print, vibrant colors and sophisticated style is what the label is known for — landing it an exclusive deal with the likes of Kathy Ireland's Worldwide Brand and into the closets of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Emmitt Smith, Tyra Banks and many others. Newly nestled in its spacious Design District showroom, the Don Morphy brand boasts more than just apparel. It's an experience.

This bookstore has been called the "shortest trip to Africa without getting on a plane." Pan African Connection specializes in books that focus on the history, health and progression of African people. The shop's mission is to remind the world that Black history did not start in slavery, but in Africa. Organizing community events throughout the year, this bookstore also acts as an art gallery and resource center. This is the place to be if you're looking to be completely immersed in African culture.

Javier Garcia deMoral

A century from now, when the bards and historians of Dallas commemorate the city's subtle tradition of churning out great writers, they'll recognize The Wild Detectives as a home base for great literature and those who craft it. Luckily for us, we don't have to wait that long to realize the greatness of this local treasure. Whether hosting Ben Fountain or Will Clarke, the distinctive shop consistently shines a light on our local literary luminaries and their masterworks. You can catch these authors reading in person or check out their books at this bookstore-cum-bar.

Self care is the best care, they say, and there are plenty of reasons why Dallasites make a dash to the Ritz when the time comes for a little R&R. A trip to this spa is truly a treat because it's all about you and your lavish experience. Breathe deep and take in the aromas of the eucalyptus room after you explore the effects of the signature "Dean's Margarita Salt Glow" body scrub and massage. Indulge in the highly acclaimed Hydrafacial and don't forget to dine because, after all, The Ritz is at your service. Even with all of these impressive amenities and services, the big buzz about this spa always surrounds its sweet and savory snack bar ... go figure.

Nailuscious is a much-adored beauty haven for the mani-pedi fans looking for nail techs who deliver service with care. Patience is definitely key for this gem as it hugs the bustling traffic of Oak Lawn Avenue and parking is often scarce. It's well worth the trip, though, as owner Tuana Vo makes it her mission to get to know all customers personally and to make their nail experience blissful. Customer service and personalized attention ranks high on the menu, making this Uptown location everything you didn't know you needed right now.

Daniel Rockey

Deep Ellum Distillery, an offshoot of Deep Ellum brewery, has been distilling small-batch vodka in Deep Ellum for a few years now. It was at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, however, that they decided to take a break from helping us cleanse our souls with their spirits and started helping us cleanse our hands with their sanitizer. Since then they've handed out thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer both to local businesses, nonprofits, and to individuals through direct-to-consumer sales. Please don't inject it into your bloodstream, though, no matter who says so.

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