Intersection: Mt. Lookout Square

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The Dust Jacket
The Dust Jacket has exactly what a bookstore should have: shelves of books. And then some more books, lining the walls and anywhere else there’s room. From outside, the shop looks like it might be a tiny hole-in-the-wall, but once you walk inside it spirals back like a maze, packed with titles like The Works of Dickens and Mother Goose’s Melodies. In the age of the big box bookstore, this quirky, old-fashioned shop—complete with a giant jar of jelly beans at the register—is a breath of fresh air. 3200 Linwood Ave., (513) 871-4224

Stereo ADV
This place is the electronics version of an antique store. Speakers, CD players, DVD players, and turntables take up most of the shelf space and are stacked up high against the walls. While the shop is probably best known for its array of classic pieces for sale (and for refurbishing, realigning, and updating said pieces) they’re also very hip to the times—they can fix virtually any electronic device you bring in, and can even install state-of-the-art home theaters. And now that all the cool kids are spinning records again, Stereo ADV is the place to go for player sales, service, and repairs. 3199 Linwood Ave., (513) 321-0083

Annabel’s
With no more than 10 tiny tables on the floor, Annabel’s is cozy without feeling cramped. Maybe that’s because they only seat parties of five people or fewer. Or maybe it’s because everything tastes so good that you just don’t care about your proximity to others. The staff is genuinely knowledgeable about the menu and Annabel makes everything—right down to the house “honeycrunch” butter—herself. But our very favorite thing about this little place is that it serves breakfast all day. Because who doesn’t love afternoon pancakes? 1004 Delta Ave., (513) 417-8669

Lookout Joe/Mt. Lookout Coffee Roasters
Lookout Joe has been holding down the block in Mt. Lookout Square for more than 20 years (the coffee roasting business was formerly known as Blue Mountain Coffee). And while the independent coffeehouse is best known for its brew, it isn’t just your average takeout shop either. Pick up custom-labeled bags, arrange wholesale and office coffee, and check out their catering and home roasting options. The service is fast and there are drinks and treats aplenty. Take that, Starbucks. 3181 Linwood Ave., (513) 871-8626

The Giftbox
This colorful store is bursting at the seams. From old-fashioned candy (think wax bottles, candy buttons) and kiddie puzzles to Vera Bradley bags and DaVinci charm beads, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a gift for the tchotchke-lover in your life. There is an array of Cincinnati sports team souvenirs, fancy picture frames, and girly items like painted wine glasses. In fact, every Friday and Saturday the shop holds a wine tasting event. Don’t worry; you can buy bottles of wine as well. 1030 Delta Ave., (513) 533-1848

Boardwalk Hobby Shop
Looking for a model airplane? A special version of Monopoly? A 2,000-piece puzzle? Boardwalk Hobby Shop has all that and more. Find classic board games like Sorry!, Operation, and Mystery Date, plus rows of puzzles, toy cars, assembly and model kits, card games, miniature army men and militaria, and yo-yos. The shop is perfect for a rainy day shopping spree, but we wouldn’t recommend waiting for one to check it out—you’ll want to try out that rubber band-powered airplane. 1032 Delta Ave., (513) 871-2110

Cha Cha’s
What you might know about Cha Cha’s is that it’s a funky little boutique filled with jewelry and clothes for women of all ages. What you might not know is that it is also an art gallery; almost all of the colorful artwork seen hanging on the burlap-covered walls is for sale, and even some of the furniture. Between the sparkly jewelry, leather purses, faux fur coats and boot warmers, Big Star jeans, handmade belts, and monogrammed rain boots, Cha Cha’s will fulfill all your girly and gifty needs. 3156 Linwood Ave., (513) 823-9100

Originally published in the March 2013 issue

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