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Best of Atlanta 2017 Consumer Culture

Consumer Critics Cocoa Main Large


Consumer Culture

When examining Atlanta’s retail and shopping arenas, it seems as if a war has been waging between big-box-style chain stores and small indie shops for, like, forever. And over the past decade, with the spread of large mixed-use developments throughout the metro area, it appeared that the big-box guys were winning that war. That is, until recent years, when business folk seemingly doubled-down on their desire to supply local communities with products made and sold closer to home — and shoppers responded in kind by voting with their cash.

Now, this ongoing war has been somewhat replaced by a stalemate, with consumers and creators realizing stores both big and small play a role in helping people live better lives. And in the Consumer Culture section of this year’s Best of Atlanta, CL gives props to a variety of ATL-based retailers — from multimillion-dollar online brands and corporate-owned entertainment venues to pop-up boutiques and tiny family-run spots. Our goal is to point you toward exemplary businesses in your own backyard, Atlantans worth giving your cash to and spaces deserving of your time. Ultimately, by working together and supporting the full range of entrepreneurs and businesses, we only serve to make a richer and more vibrant city.

Now get to reading — and then, maybe, to dropping some dollars.

— Carlton Hargro


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Best craft beer store

Hop City Craft Beer and Wine



Best skate shop

Stratosphere Skateboards Stratosphere Skateboards

Best store for antiques and estate-sale gems

Brick + Mortar Brick + Mortar
David Kowalski is a master at curating old and new at his store, BRICK + MORTAR, which began as a pop-up at Paris on Ponce before becoming a full-blown shop at Westside Provisions District. Inside, blouses by local designers like Megan Huntz sit alongside home décor items, such as the boutique’s eponymousmore...

David Kowalski is a master at curating old and new at his store, BRICK + MORTAR, which began as a pop-up at Paris on Ponce before becoming a full-blown shop at Westside Provisions District. Inside, blouses by local designers like Megan Huntz sit alongside home décor items, such as the boutique’s eponymous line of candles. But the antiques and estate-sale finds are what truly shine — and hearing Kowalski’s tall tales about them is part of the fun. He recently acquired an antique model steamboat from Natchez, Mississippi, formerly used in theatrical productions that retails for $1,500. But you can find more affordable gems, like vintage road maps, for a mere $5. Kowalski checks out 10-15 estate sales a week, mostly in the Southeast, so you can always expect to find new, old treasures. 1170 Howell Mill Road, Suite 106. 404-492-9207. www.thisisbrickandmortar.com.

photo by: Lindsey Max

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Best OG comic book shop

Oxford Comics
The metro Atlanta area is rife with comic book shops, both old and relatively new, but when it comes to sheer selection and diversity of products, OXFORD COMICS is the leader of the pack. Pop in the shop on any day of the week, and you’ll see for yourself: tons of brand-new comics from mainstream andmore...
The metro Atlanta area is rife with comic book shops, both old and relatively new, but when it comes to sheer selection and diversity of products, OXFORD COMICS is the leader of the pack. Pop in the shop on any day of the week, and you’ll see for yourself: tons of brand-new comics from mainstream and indie publishers, old-school back issues, trade paperbacks and hardcover graphic novels, hard-to-find action figures, trading cards, DVDs, T-shirts, posters and even snacks. And there’s more comic-related stuff where that came from in stock for both hardcore fans and casual customers. 2855 Piedmont Road N.E. 404-233-8682. www.facebook.com/oxfordcomicsandgames. less...

Best dry cleaners

Sig Samuels

Best head shop

Starship Enterprise

Best spin class

Flywheel



Best tattoo studio

Only You Tattoo Only You Tattoo
photo by: Lindsey Max

Best store for your all your occult needs

ATL Craft
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along withmore...
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along with the magical aides, the spot also sells work by a number of local healers and artists — like Kat Shaw from Herbalista, Orion Crook and Maddy Barreto, among others — and, perhaps most importantly, provides a one-of-a-kind space for learning, support and fellowship for people whose belief systems typically fall outside of the status quo. 489-B Edgewood Ave. S.E. www.atlcraftshop.com. less...

Best boutique for discounted couture

Labels
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easilymore...
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easily walk to the others. Brands range from high-end designers like Chanel, Prada and Jil Sander to contemporary favorites such as Theory, Alice + Olivia and Rag & Bone. You’ll also find a wide variety of clothing up for grabs, from everyday button-downs and trousers for work to more elaborate fare, like a decadent Dior gown or costume jewelry. 3202 Paces Ferry Place. 404-841-8444. www.labelsrb.com. less...

Best beauty bargain

Nail Mall
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively —more...
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively — or about half of what they’ll cost you at the corner drugstore. Plus you can pick up wholesale-size bottles of lotion and cuticle oil, or even salon-style chairs and nail-drying machines (typically only found in wholesale-only stores) at discounted prices. 5338 Buford Highway, Doraville. 678-547-0098. www.nailmall.com. less...

Best place to get your car fixed at an affordable price

Roger Jordan Garage
ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Donmore...

ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Don says. The place is everything you always wanted in a car repair shop. One of the Jordans (or a tattooed mechanic) will listen to your sob story, empathize and then give you a great deal. You might have to wait a little bit to get it done — the disclaimer displayed at the garage’s entrance flat-out states that they make no promises on when your car will be finished — but it’s worth the wait. 1152 DeKalb Ave. N.E. 404-688-2692. www.rogerjordangarage.net.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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