Paula’s Café Downtowners flock to this friendly lunch spot for Cuban sandwiches and abundant salads. Their famous Seven-Minute Burger, hand-formed and served on Shadeau wheat bread, can get yummy extras like balsamic-laced onions or blue cheese sauce. Before rolling back to the office, take home a half or full gallon of one of Paula’s soups or chili and dinner’s all set. 41 E. Fourth St., (513) 381-3354, paulascafe.com Best Dressed Two of Cincinnati’s best clothing stores anchor the corner of Fourth and Walnut. Mike and Carol Trotta have been offering finely honed style guidance, selection, and custom tailoring on everything from shirts to suits since their father opened this haberdashery 75 years ago. For men, there are elegant Dolcepunta ties, Hugh Parsons cologne, and casual clothing by Alex Cannon. The Trottas also carry women’s wear from American and European manufacturers. Around the corner at Bolero, owner James Elkus carries classic looks with a twist. “Pocket squares have made a comeback,” says Elkus, also noting that British flair has made its mark on men’s fashion. “Classic hunting style jackets, elbow patches, and plaids are all big,” he says while laying out a sharp black-and-white houndstooth three-piece suit from Tallia. You’ll also find great pieces from Missoni, Kroon, Benson, and Luchiano Visconti. Mike & Carol Trotta, 406 Walnut St., (513) 621-2930, mikeandcaroltrotta.com; Bolero, 43 E. Fourth St., (513) 421-5600Koch Sporting Goods Currently suited up as Bengal Rey Maualuga, Koch’s doorway mascot ushers you into this family run sports emporium, which has been in business since 1888. “We dress him up seasonally,” says Eric Koch. “Domata Peko recently came in and bought his jersey off [him].” Koch is the go-to store for fan gear, but you can also find championship table tennis paddles, skis, and ultimate Frisbee equipment. Attention Carson Palmer jersey owners: Koch’s can replace his name—$70 for authentic jerseys, $35 for replicas. (513) 621-2352, 131 W. Fourth St., kochsports.comBromwell’s From its chic first floor and eclectic array of hearth and home accessories, you’d never guess that you’ve walked into the oldest store in Cincinnati. Established in 1819 as an outfitter for settlers, Bromwell’s continues to reinvent itself. Current owner Jeff McClorey stocks surprisingly whimsical home goods, like porcelain fireplace logs, a Union Jack–upholstered ottoman, and sculptural graphite writing tools. Don’t miss the showroom and art gallery on the soaring second floor. 117 W. Fourth St., (513) 621-0620, bromwells.comFabulous Frames & Art In addition to being a top-notch frame shop, Fabulous Frames & Art is the largest Charley Harper dealer in the world. Owner Carol Carl works with Harper’s son, Brett, to present previously unpublished work. Starting in November, a new selection of Harper prints geared toward children will be available, and be sure to check out the Harper fish-themed dinnerware. “Each of our five locations has a different vibe,” says Carl. “Downtown, people are interested in iconic Cincinnati.” At the Fourth Street shop you can find hand-painted urban landscapes by local photographer Marc Wavra and the work of architectural photographer J. Miles Wolf. 17 W. Fourth St., (513) 579-9998, fabframes.com Main Auction Galleries If you’re downtown during the week, check out the treasures on deck for Main Auction Gallery’s weekly Tuesday auction. Throughout the year, Main Auction (in business since 1871) has large sales of everything from silver to Stickley furniture to hot mid-century pieces like the Alexander Calder tapestry that sold in October for more than $4,000. 137 W. Fourth St., (513) 621-1280, mainauctiongalleries.com4th Street Boutique The ever-changing merchandise at this resale boutique makes a lunchtime pass-through hard to resist. You can spend with abandon here because the prices are great and you’re shopping for a cause: All proceeds benefit Dress for Success Cincinnati. Dresses, shoes, bags, jewelry, and evening wear are most often priced between $6 and $25. Don’t miss the bargain basement, where everything is $5 or less. 135 W. Fourth St., (513) 651-3372, 4thstreetboutique.org
Photography by Chris SmithOriginally published in the December 2011 issue.
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