Best of the City 2021 Winners: Shopping

Kentucky Agate from Dimitridon Studios

Photograph by Devyn Glista

Plants, running gear, bottles of wine, books, women’s clothes, and more—you can shop until you drop with these retailers, all new to our city, from our 2021 Best of the City list.

Pop-Up Market: Pike Street Pop-Up

To help local businesses struggling through the pandemic, Renaissance Covington transformed its former office space into a permanent, rotating retail space hosting one or two small businesses quarterly. The space comes equipped with furniture, WiFi, a POS system, and other amenities that help these businesses avoid expensive startup costs. Since July, the Pike Street Pop-Up has hosted RepeatStyles, a lifestyle brand offering vintage finds, and Mud Lane Blooms, a full-service florist and flower farm. • 2 W. Pike St., Covington,

Bookstore: Joy and Matt’s Bookshop

Lamenting the demise of The Booksellers on Fountain Square, Mt. Auburn resident Matt Stonecash wanted to create a new spot for readers to browse and discover new titles. Enter Joy and Matt’s Bookshop. Stonecash, along with partner Haixia “Joy” Niu, opened the Over-the-Rhine bookstore on Vine Street this summer, providing a curated selection of old and new books of all genres that pique the interests of a diverse reading population. • 1515 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 427-3413,

Icon by Emi Villavicencio

Wine Shop: The Bottle Shop from Ripple

When COVID sidelined the in-person experience at Ripple Wine Bar, owners Kathleen and Matt Haws took a calculated risk, opening a retail extension just two doors down from their popular Covington spot. And it paid off. The small but mighty space is stocked floor-to-ceiling with bottles and the Hawses’ encyclopedic knowledge helps customers find their perfect vintage. You’ll likely find some familiar names among the shelves, but the real draws are small vineyards and boutique winemakers. • 8 W. Pike St., Covington, (859) 261-0004

Running Store: Fleet Feet at Fifty West

Fifty West has built quite an outdoor activity complex near Mariemont, offering access to the Little Miami Scenic Trail and river and supplying everything bikers, walkers, runners, and paddlers need to get going. The latest addition is the area’s fourth Fleet Feet store, which opened this summer in a building shared with Fifty West Cyclery. • 7667 Wooster Pke., Mariemont, (513) 272-0555,

Boutique: Boutique Bellini

How does a clothing store born in the back of a converted Little Debbie truck manage to land a storefront in OTR? Just ask Aleasha Smith, the owner and creative force behind Boutique Bellini, the women’s apparel store that opened its permanent Vine Street location this fall. A fashion industry veteran and working mom, Smith introduced her brand to the city first as a pop-up before joining 3CDC’s Perseverance Project. You’ll find everything from high-end denim and silky blouses to lounge pants and sun hats at this carefully curated storefront. • 1513 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 404-6872,

Antique Store: Mazzocca Brothers Furniture and Antiques

Louis and Tom Mazzocca are the brothers behind this new shop on Newport’s Saratoga Street, but the journey really began when Louis and his wife Holly moved into a 1904 home in Ft. Thomas. The couple wanted to furnish their home with period pieces, and once that job was done, Louis couldn’t quite stop looking for the next great find. If you’re in the market for barrister bookcases, bird’s eye maple buffets, or antique clocks and lamps—or you’re looking to sell yours—this is the place for you. • 1021 Saratoga St., Newport, (859) 444-8274,

Photograph by Catie Viox

Plant Shop: Forage

Plant moms, dads, and non-binary folks, rejoice. There’s yet another(!) new urban jungle for you to call home. Forage—which arrived in town with its sister store, sustainable goods shop Koko, in February—is a full-service plant store in the re-emerging West Fourth Street District. And its offerings go far beyond the usual greenhouse-variety services. Between vines of creeping pothos and vibrant monstera, you’ll find an in-store plant doctor, specializing in repairing and repotting greenery that’s seen better days. Bring them your tired, your yellowing, your wilting masses. Your plants will thank you. • 320 W. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 287-7867,

Vintage Shop: The Daily Vintage

The Daily Vintage does the heavy thrifting lifting for you, selecting only the cream of the vintage crop to display at their Findlay Market–adjacent storefront. Xavier sweatshirts from the ’70s? Check. Old-school Bengals gear? Check. Stone Cold Steve Austin tees? Interesting choice, but they’ve got ’em. It’s a Cincinnati sports fan’s dream—and a sustainable way to shop for your next obsession. • 1810 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, @thedailyvintagecincy on Instagram

Rock Store: Dimitridon Studios

Lots of kids collect rocks, but only a few of them turn it into a business. Teenage brothers Dimitri and Jonas Agdanowski started Dimitridon Studios in 2016 when their collections began to take over the house. A location in South Haven, Michigan, followed, and last year, the brothers expanded to a shop in Alexandria, where their mom is from. Gemstones, fossils, jewelry, and artwork from local artists are all on offer, and this is the perfect spot to find a special and unexpected gift. • 8321 E. Main St., Alexandria, (859) 635-7625,

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