Best of the East Bay- Shops
Best gifts, chocolate, furniture, bikes, pet gear, antiques...
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→ Abundant on eBay, silver flatware, candlesticks, and bowls can often be acquired at bargain prices. Add a monogram and you’ve got a gorgeous gift, or a piece to cherish and pass on to your descendants. Engravers are scarce in these parts, but Walnut Creek’s Peter C. Plante has been inscribing crystal, leather, and gold as well as silver for four decades. He’s moved his business from Pleasant Hill Plaza to his Walnut Creek home, where he does careful, excellent work.
Available by appointment only, (925) 280-7220, www.engraverscorner.com. —Susan Edmiston
Bling For You And Your Home
→ Just celebrating its one-year anniversary on Prospect Avenue in Danville, Le Jardinet is our go-to spot for thoughtful, unique finds in every price range. Decadent candles from Seda France (an Oprah favorite) and Côté Bastide, pottery from local artist Rae Dunn, and personalized jewelry by Nashelle are just a few of our favorites at
this beautifully designed home and garden shop. Also, don’t miss the gorgeous French table linens and one-of-a-kind handmade aprons.
166 E. Prospect Ave., Danville, (925) 820-8333. —B.J.S.
→ No bookstore this side of Cody’s has more going on than Clayton Books. New owners, who bought the store from the owners of the now defunct Bonanza Street Books last year, have spruced up the store’s interior and now regularly host readings. In the last few months, the store hosted Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Robert Hass, acclaimed novelist Michelle Richmond, and popular mystery author Laurie King. Clearly, Clayton is the place for the indie bookstore lover to be.
5433-D Clayton Rd., Clayton, (925) 673-3325, www.claytonbookshop.com. —Justin Goldman
Shop You Hope You Will Never Need
→ Your child gets sent home from school with—eww—lice. Who ya gonna call?
Lafayette’s LoveBugs Salon specializes in lice removal, using gentle, nontoxic methods. With special goggles, a magnifying glass, a fine-tooth comb, and natural oils, a technician will search through every millimeter of your child’s hair. The salon makes the experience as pleasant as possible, offering kids books and portable DVD players to keep them occupied.
Mailana Mavromatis opened the salon after years of lice-outbreak notices from her kids’ Lafayette schools. She recalled the irritation and embarrassment of being infected when she was a kid and her Greek mom’s matter-of-fact delousing method. Mavromatis began helping other kids in her sons’ school and soon realized there was a real need for her services. Her business may be the only one of its kind in the Bay Area, and clients come from as far away as Sacramento.
The salon charges $90 per session and recommends that clients visit at least twice to make sure the lice are gone.
3746 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Ste. 122, Lafayette, (925) 283-7700, www.lovebugslice.com. —Martha Ross
→ New season, new shoes, right? Well, suppose you’ve got a pair of shoes that are ultracomfy and classic. You continue to get compliments on them every time you put them on, and you’ve worn them so much that you’ve got a big hole under the ball of your left foot. Just suppose these shoes have taken on the status of a well-loved pet. Then what? Check out A-1 Shoe Repair on Main Street in Walnut Creek. The staff will have your treasured boots, heels, or flats looking like new—the craftsmanship is remarkable. And, the prices are surprisingly low.
1399 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 934-1950. —Michaela Jarvis