Best Pop-Up Market 2022 | The Social Chica | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

There are pop-ups and then there are The Social Chica pop-ups. The Social Chica concept, a marketing and merchandising company, has blossomed into a movement. The Social Chica serves women- and Latina-owned businesses by creating a platform through markets. Vendors are guided through every step of the process including marketing, vendor photo shoots, booth setup tips and business development conferences. The Social Chica rolls out the red carpet for consumers as well. Each family-friendly pop-up is differentiated with a meticulously curated theme. Shoppers are given a luxury treatment from the moment they walk in the door. They are greeted with a drink and invited to browse an assortment of goods, foods and desserts. A DJ sets the tone for the event. Backdrops and photo booths are available to cement the memory. The kids are even covered with a ball pit and event-specific activities to keep them entertained.

In light of recent political and judicial decisions (that are not very supreme at all), there's been an uptick in vasectomies. Whether it's because of men supporting women and women's health or just covering their own asses, both sound pretty good right about now in Texas. Dr. H. Jake Porter of Urology Clinics of North Texas is a "belt and suspenders" guy, so he doesn't just go for one protective measure, he goes for all of them: the snip, the cauterization and the clamps. (If appropriate for the patient, of course.) He offers friendly and informative consults and easy-to-follow recovery instructions with little to no pain.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

Now that more people know it's acceptable to work in a space that's not a cubicle, it's even more appropriate to work anywhere, as long as there's WiFi. But some places are better than others. Eating nachos while typing is messy, too rambunctious a crowd is distracting and the glow of a computer in a dark space is rude. On the flipside, having the option to switch from water or soda to a good beer is a plus. Westlake Brewery offers that, plus a vibe that allows you to focus. Staff is friendly enough to keep your spirits up even when work is annoying, bright light flows through the glass garage doors, the music appropriately varies and it isn't too loud. Before you know it, you've finished everything, and it's time to drink a Y'All Star. (Or drink on the job. We won't tell.)

Patrick Williams

DFW has many sporting goods warehouse stores offering a little bit of everything and specialty shops devoted to certain sports. If outdoor play is your thing, Sun & Ski Sports offers a great selection of gear for skiers, snowboarders, water sports fans, cyclists, hikers and runners. Especially impressive is the store's collection of snow gear and clothing for those Texans who spend the long summers yearning for a trip to chillier, hillier areas. They offer a range of road, commuter and off-road bikes, including some high-end e-bikes that range in price from affordable to why-not-just-buy-a-car. (If you used to be a cyclist but have put on a few years and pounds, bikes with electric motors to assist pedaling are a great way to get back into the sport, letting you adjust the assistance to get the level of workout you desire.) And Sun & Ski stocks a large variety of Hoka running shoes, designed by trail runners, that offer gentle cushioning in a package so light you might feel as though you're running on a cloud.

Courtesy of Netflix

Through its past four seasons, cultural juggernaut Stranger Things managed to get Gen Zers with attention spans the length of a TikTok video to sit through entire episodes. The '80s-throwback horror-mystery hit from Netflix has given us memes — "She's our friend and she's crazy" or "Chrissy, wake up" — and taught kids about icons such as Winona Ryder and Kate Bush. And just like the teens in the show, fans got to gather at the mall this May, when Grapevine was one of a handful of cities worldwide to get a Stranger Things pop-up store. Its run was so successful it's been extended through October. The Grapevine Mall shop, which is free to visit, includes hundreds of collectibles, such as Hawkins High clothing, memorabilia including toys and backpacks, Hellfire Club T-shirts, and even 1980s candy brands. It also has photo ops. You can pose with a demogorgon and tag your ex. 

Remember that part in Pulp Fiction when Mia Wallace puts Urge Overkill's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon," on the reel-to-reel? You can't really fantasy role-play your own version of it unless you have a working reel-to-reel. Visit Metzger Vintage Audio to repair that dusty one under your bed or any other cool vintage audio equipment you found or pirated from your grandma's garage. Recently remodeled in '70s lounge fashion, Metzger Vintage Audio is half listening room, half repair shop. The store repairs, sells and buys vintage speakers, receivers, turntables and whatever else you can throw at them. They also sell vinyl records, premium audio cables, turntable cartridges and cool music books. Even though it's 2022, setting the vibes for Vincent Vega's grand entrance just wouldn't work well with a Bluetooth speaker. (Black wigs not included with purchase.)

If you haven't heard about Preston Hollow's Le Cera Boutique, it's probably because owner Janet Velez doesn't market her waxing studio. She doesn't need to. She stays busy and booked with seasonal and regular clients, and her clientele's loyalty is well earned. Since 2016, Velez has developed a following in her Sola Salons suite. Most return monthly for body waxing, brow shaping and, if they are feeling fancy, a vajacial. And while smooth silky skin is the goal, what keeps clients booking is Velez's ability to turn a new guest into a dedicated friend. Stepping foot into Le Cera Boutique guarantees you a rejuvenating chat, a few good laughs and most important an (almost) painless Brazilian.

Imagine staying in a pre-2015 Wes Anderson movie for a weekend: the colors, the kitsch, the obsessive attention to detail and overall feeling that the staff actually gives a damn if you're enjoying your stay. That's how they roll at the recently remodeled Prince Solms Inn in New Braunfels. It holds the title of oldest consistently running hotel in Texas, and each of the 10 rooms exhibits its own personality through unique decor. The blue library room is a standout for any lover of books, and the hotel manager dresses like an Italian movie director, his ascot and pocket square exuding nothing but class. Wait, is that live jazz coming from the basement? Yes, indeed it is. The basement of the hotel is home to an actual non-cheesy speakeasy, loaded with people, drinks, jazz and the feeling something salacious may have gone down a hundred years prior to your visit. Is it possibly haunted? Aren't most 150-year-old establishments with grand staircases haunted? Ghosts love velvet couches, chic furniture and delicious cocktails. The good news is, if you kick the bucket here, there is hope for a decent afterlife.

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