In the Village

Mount Washington offers a bit of everything -- from simple to sophisticated, from salons and boutiques to restaurants and food markets.

Focus On Shopping

March 02, 2003|By Maria Blackburn | By Maria Blackburn,Sun Staff

No doubt, you already know about Mount Washington Village as a place to go for a haircut, a night out or a head of organic baby bok choy. Mount Wash-ington was originally established in 1854 as a weekend retreat from the sweltering heat of Baltimore City. Over time, this area has become known for its eclectic village filled with salons, the bustling Mount Washing-ton Tavern, and Whole Foods, the busy grocery store in the nearby Mount Washington Mill.

Next time you head to Mount Washington Village, however, stay a couple hours to take advantage of its funky shops, galleries and restaurants. Here are a few ideas of where to start:

Something Else

1611 Sulgrave Ave.

410-542-0444

Elsie Fergusson's shop is crammed with colorful Asian-print dresses, mirror-cloth tunics, Flax washable linen separates, silk scarves, hats and jewelry from all over the world. "I particularly like bright colors," said Fergusson, a village resident whose store has been at this location for almost 30 years. Pick a corner and look carefully. No doubt, you'll unearth a colorful treasure or two.

Don't miss: Oilcloth tote bags trimmed in silk fringe by Judith Roberts ($45).

Oxoxo Gallery

1617 Sulgrave Ave.

410-466-9696

The work of 125 artists from Scotland, New Zealand, Portugal and elsewhere can be found in this vibrant little gallery that specializes in contemporary jewelry and small sculptures. Take home a pair of typewriter key earrings for $40, or a 22-karat gold necklace studded with citrine and rubies for $4,000.

Don't miss: Whimsical acrylic jewelry by artists from Scotland, including magnetic bullet-shaped earrings by Adam Paxon ($110 each).

Jurus Ltd.

5618 Newbury St.

410-542-5227

Jewelry designers Sandye and Philip Jurus have totally different styles: He does bold, contemporary pieces, while she specializes in creating tiny, elfin, organic earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces. They've filled their shop with their gold and silver creations, and with such decorative arts pieces as hand-forged stainless-steel flatware from Thailand that resembles the silver used by young wizards in the latest Harry Potter film.

Don't miss: Groovy disco bracelets for a mere $15.

Baltimore Clayworks Gallery Shop

5707 Smith Ave.

410-578-1919

Stop by and take a gander at one of the excellent ceramics shows in this charming stone house. Afterward, pause to peruse this light-filled shop that's stocked with colorful work by local clay artists.

Don't miss: Ryan Kelly's expressive clay heads ($30) that give a dash of personality to doorknobs, cabinets or just about anywhere.

Samuel Parker Clothier

1340 Smith Ave.

410-464-6180

Kenneth L. Himmelstein sells classic casual and business clothing for men by Ralph Lauren, Robert Talbott and Samuelsohn in his beautifully appointed shop. But you'll also find a nice selection of finely made women's clothing and accessories too, including thick cashmere sweaters, beautifully tailored blouses and waxed-cotton Barbour jackets.

Don't miss: Ghurka twill and leather handbags ($185-$595) that look great year-round.

Just a Second Boutique

5708 Newbury St.

410-542-4450

Behind this charming periwinkle blue storefront you'll find all sorts of gently worn designer clothes, shoes and handbags for women. Neat and well organized, the store also boasts some of the nicest salespeople in town.

Don't miss: A pair of Cole Haan red oxfords ($27) and an Isaac Mizrahi silk pantsuit ($62).

Smith & Hawken

1340 Smith Ave.

410-433-0119

We know. You can shop this upscale garden retailer online or by perusing their luscious mail-order catalog. But if you do that, you can't run your hand over a gleaming copper planter or examine the collection of fine teak garden furniture.

Don't miss: The store's outdoor area, which beautifully showcases the furniture collection.

Where to pamper

Everywhere you turn in Mount Washington, there are hairdressers and colorists, aestheticians and manicurists just waiting to make you look and feel good. Some suggestions of places to pamper you:

* With a team of 25 stylists, plus an aesthetician and other salon pros, Studio 1612 is too large for one location. So there are two, 1612 Kelly Ave., 410-664-3800, and 1501 Sulgrave Ave., 410-664-3010.

* Treat yourself to a hot stone massage and a facial at Diana's European Skincare, 1501 Sulgrave Ave., 410-367-1866.

* Get some highlights and a spunky cut at Sartori & Company, a full-service hair salon at 5616 Newbury St., 410-664-2900.

* Europa International Salon is best known for its "color correction" services, meaning that if the at-home hair color turned your hair green instead of platinum, you might consider giving them a call. 5701 Newbury St., 410-367-1111.

* And don't discount the value of the therapeutic ancient healing arts of shiatsu massage and acupuncture at Baltimore Shiatsu and Acupuncture Center, 5710 Newbury St., 410-360-3534.

Where to eat

Mount Washington is filled with quaint cafes and excellent restaurants. For a quick bite, consider:

* The name on the door says Desert Cafe, but the pastry case -- filled recently with Heath bar cheesecake, a berry tart and German chocolate cake -- tells us this small Middle Eastern restaurant is a dessert cafe, too. 1605-7 Sulgrave Ave., 410-367-5808.

* Whether you favor Crepes Suzette, croque monsieur or steak frites, Crepe Du Jour is sure to please. 1609 Sulgrave Ave., 410-542-9000.

* One cold afternoon the soup offerings at Ethel & Ramone's included tomato fennel, Thai carrot and potato garlic. Mmmm. This funky Creole eatery also serves everything from Po' Boy sandwiches to Louisiana Gumbo. 1615 Sulgrave Ave., 410-664-2971.

* Mt. Washington Pizza & Subs is known for its carryout and its wide selection of Indian specialties. 1620 Kelly Ave., 410-664-1111.

Find out more

To get more information about the village, go online to www.mtwashingtonvillage.com.

Note: Many stores and salons in the village are closed Sunday and Monday.

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