Best Themed Pop-Up Shop 2022 | Stranger Things Store  | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
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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