Date: April 21, 2014 | Producer: Blythe Cate & Chip Jones |
For the inaugural edition of our new “Discover” feature, the At Home team traveled just thirty minutes from our office to Conway. Filled with a mix of modern boutiques, quaint antique and home décor shops, and delightful eateries, this city has something for everyone. Follow along to experience it as the natives do.
EATS & SWEETS While they may be known for their “scratch-made” cheese dip, we suggest breakfast at Stoby’s. This cozy Conway staple is a favorite of local college kids and families alike. Try the thick, warm biscuits, colossal cinnamon rolls or pink strawberry pancakes topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream. By your second cup of coffee, you’ll feel right at home.
While you’re in the neighborhood, walk across the back parking lot to PattiCakes Bakery where the sugary scents of coconut meringue pie, red velvet cupcakes, and cake pops are enough to tempt any sweet tooth. The bakery devotes itself to serving desserts reminiscent of a childhood trip to grandma’s house. Patti herself will hand you a cupcake catered to your tastes (peanut butter chocolate, perhaps?) in a tiny Chinese takeout box. Never mind that it’s only 10 a.m., you can always save it for an afternoon snack.
When you’re ready for lunch, drive to historic downtown Conway to sample the fare at Cross Creek Sandwich Shop. Attached to Jennifer’s Antiques, this down-to-earth eatery offers fresh choices in a vintage setting. Try their Cross Creek chicken salad or turkey bacon wrap, and be sure to save room for a heaping piece of strawberry pie. Pop in Jennifer’s after you eat to hunt for treasures of your own.
Finally, if you’re looking for a divine dinner spot, dine at Mike’s Place on Front Street where you’ll experience a taste of the Deep South. We suggest the seafood crepes or New York strip.
LOCAL FINDS Wander down Oak Street, a charming strip of boutiques, antique shops, and home décor stores. Grand on Oak (501-499-6436; grandonoak.com) beckons with its welcoming yellow-and-white striped awning. Owner Sena Lovette-Crafton will show you the entirety of the boutique and gift shop (it’s huge!), filled with colorful spring dresses, chic cowboy boots, fragrances, handbags, and more. Go ahead—buy those trend-setting sunglasses for your next beach vacation.
Men and women alike will appreciate the style and sophistication at Bell & Sward (501-504-6880; bellandsward.com), a gentlemen’s clothier with such class it’s hard to resist purchasing a Collared Greens bow tie. The rustic setting creates a rugged and inviting shopping experience with exposed brick walls, wood, skulls, paintings of hunting dogs, and a chalkboard sign that hangs mid-store. On the day we visited, we also found a perfectly neat rack of button-down shirts in any spring color you could imagine as well as state baseball hats and cute argyle Happy Socks.
If you’re in the market for home décor, you’ve hit the jackpot. Head across Oak Street to Park Hill Home (501-358-3537; parkhillcollection.com), a collection of rural-inspired European and American antiques, where the scent of lavender and sense of nostalgia for a simpler time greet you when the door opens. You’ll find old watering cans, wheelbarrows, books, lamps, their exclusive line of scented candles, and much more to incorporate a warm, cherished feel into your home.
Last, but not least, don’t miss Hambuchen Home Furnishings (501-327-6523; hambuchens.com) on Second Street. They’ll have that new Howard Miller love seat, Broyhill armoire or Thomasville lamp you’ve been eyeing, along with bookcases, mirrors, barstools and more accessories to match. If you need to upgrade your appliances, they can also help with that. There’s something for everyone in this state-of-the-art showroom.
MAKE IT HOME If you’re tempted to make Conway your home, stop by The Charlotte John Company (501-664-5646; charlottejohn.com), a full-service residential real estate company across Arkansas. They cover any neighborhood in Little Rock as well as the surrounding areas, including a variety of stunning properties throughout Conway. Stop by their office downtown for a consultation with their experts.
If you do decide to call Conway home, the first person you should visit is Tami Risinger. Pay a visit to her marvelous new all-white home, which also serves as the office of Risinger Interiors (501-454-2575). Step inside, and her two dogs, Abby and Stolee, will greet you with toys and kisses. The home echoes Risinger’s style: clean, classic and timeless. Sound like your taste? She might just be the designer for you.
If you decide to build a dream home or tackle a remodel, head down to Arkansas Rock Designs (501-679-0769; arkansasrockdesigns.com) for man-made stone to shape the exterior walls or fireplace you’ve always wanted. A blend of natural aggregate, Portland cement, and color pigments create the real stone resemblance. Whether you prefer an elegant or rugged look, the shop offers a variety of molds and colors to fit your style.