Now & Again
Since bursting onto the retro scene in 2009, this downtown shop has racked up loyal fans who count on the keen eye of owner Michael Sanders to find the choicest mid-century furniture and fun accessories. Those looking to sell their set of vintage barware also rely on that sense of style and good taste when consigning items; under Sanders’ hands, the shop is packed tight but not cluttered, and nothing sticks around long enough to collect dust. A recent move to larger digs on 300 South closer to downtown means that there’s even more to love, like local art and a new retro clothing boutique in the basement.
207 E. 300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-0664, NowAndAgainSLC.com
2. The Green Ant
3. Retro Rose
Best Anti-Gravity Moment
Salt City Float Spa
You’re weightless. You don’t know where your limbs end or begin. Your brain is releasing endorphins rapid-fire. Believe it or not, you’re not on drugs; you’re simply floating in an isolation tank at Salt City Float Spa. The saltwater, heated to your body temperature, has removed gravity from the equation; you’re floating weightlessly, freed from all sensation and stimuli. Not everyone has years to spend in deep meditation to capture the Buddhist-monk state of mind, but just one hour of floatation therapy will relieve stress and recalibrate the old noodle.
7050 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-599-1327, SaltCityFloat.com
Best Vinyl Kingdom
Randy’s Record Shop
If you’ve ever felt empty knowing that you were born in the wrong decade and missed your chance to walk into a real record store—pre-digital, pre-CD, pre-cassette—well, mourn not: Randy’s Record Shop remains. Bulging with probably the largest selection of vinyl records in Utah, Randy’s opened in 1978 and has weathered the storms of the compact disc, the dominance of big-box music stores and the brick & mortar-slaying monster that is the Internet. In a documentary on his website, Randy compares CDs and digital music to fast food, while vinyl is more like a three-, four- or five-course meal. “That’s why I stuck with vinyl,” he says. “It’s just better.” Vinyl is currently enjoying a bit of a revival, but at Randy’s, records never went out of style—vinyl has always been, and will always be, king.
157 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4413, RandysRecords.com
Best Darts to the Heart
Lina’s Dart Shop
You can buy a ho-hum set of darts and dartboard at nearly any sporting-goods store in America. But what you won’t find anywhere outside of Salt Lake City is Lina’s Dart Shop. Owner Lina Recupero stocks darts made from tungsten, nickel and brass, as well as a dizzying variety of accessories. One wall is dedicated to flights—those plastic things, kind of like wings, that attach to the end of a dart to make it fly straight. You can choose from every color of the rainbow, or rely on your favorite beer brand or—ahem—even silhouettes of assorted erotic positions to deliver your dart to the “Triple 20,” as they say. When it’s time to finally pay your tab, Recupero writes you out a hand-written receipt and tells you how much she appreciates your business. You’ll leave wishing you needed dart supplies more often.
3149 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-487-5330, Facebook.com/LinasDartShop
Best Book & a Slurpee
Todd Hansen’s 7-Eleven
Reading Corner A nondescript Provo 7-Eleven gas station may not even register a blip on the radar of most motorists, but local children know it as the one place that respects their love of both sugar and reading. Owner Todd Hansen built a reading corner into the convenience store where children can check out a book, read it and bring it back to receive either a balloon or a Slurpee or other treat. By giving kids who might not have access to a lot of reading material the chance to discover new books, Hansen promotes literacy in his community, which we think is pretty sweet.
300 S. Freedom Blvd., Provo, 801-373-5089
Best Clothing Boutique (Men)
Men all too often get the short end of the clothing stick—a few button-up shirts and pairs of pants crammed into the corners of boutiques as though half-heartedly fulfilling some sort of equal-clothing-opportunity requirement. Not at Fresh, though; while women’s clothing is sold here, too, it’s often the men’s stuff that takes center stage: rows of soft sweaters, hand-selected coats and jackets, sleek wallets arranged on a table with the precision and care usually reserved for fine jewelry. It’s a store that can satisfy both halves of a fashion-conscious couple.
870 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-3458, Facebook.com/FreshClothingStore
Best Local Inhaling
The future of inhaled vice is smoke-free and vaporiffic. If you’re like the thousands of Utahns who’ve ditched burning tar for inhaling flavor, then you probably know about Urban Vapors in Bountiful. If not, then you need to stop by this marvelous vapor emporium to try flavors ranging from gummy bear and root-beer float to the locally produced Cold Smoke and WOWI. After your purchase, you can even hang out in the Urban Vapors lounge, shooting pool, playing video games and enjoying the company and misty ambiance of your fellow vapor aficionados.
310 S. 200 West, Bountiful, 801-695-7957, UrbanVape.com
Best Salve for theSenses & Skin
Artist Lee Udall Bennion started making Mom’s Stuff in the 1990s for friends and family. Now, people around the world use the natural salve—made from cold-pressed olive oil, Utah beeswax and Utah pinyon pine pitch—on their dry skin. If you rub a little on your hands in the morning, it’ll carry you through even the darkest, most polluted winter days with scents of the cold, clean desert. You can buy it online in a pinch, but the preferred method is to trek to Spring City, where you can buy it straight from the source at Horseshoe Mountain Pottery. The potter, Joseph Bennion (Lee’s husband), is often there, throwing pots and rubbing a little salve on his well-worked hands between projects.
278 S. Main, Spring City, MomsStuffSalve.com
Best Feel-Good, Look-Good Cosmetics
Inside & Out
Nothing looks hotter than a clean conscience—that’s why Inside & Out offers a line of products that are big on glamour and low on consumer guilt. These glosses and lipsticks are all-natural, certified organic and never tested on animals; even the packaging they ship in is eco-friendly. The company also donates 10 percent of its revenue—not just profits—to supporting organizations that empower women, such as the Utah-based Women of the World, a nonprofit that helps refugee women in the state.
Best Locally Made Swords
DBK Custom Swords & Scabbards
It’s common knowledge that the best way to attract the fine maidens of the realm is to roll into the local faire with a sweet custom-made sword. A typical sword from DBK Custom Swords starts at around $500, but faint heart never won fair lady, and each individual blade is made to your demands using traditional methods, with historical touches like handcrafted leatherworks.
5586 S. Capitol Reef Drive, Taylorsville, 801-967-5562, DBKCustomSwords.com
Best Bike Shop
As Salt Lake City becomes more and more of a bike-friendly community, the demand for knowledgeable bike shops like Contender Bicycles has never been greater. Located in the quaint 9th & 9th shopping district, its professional staff has no problem servicing bikes for all types of riders, be they Tour de France stage winners or novice kid cruisers. But the centerpiece of the shop is its show floor, packed with top-tier bicycle eye candy. No matter if you’re looking for a road bike, mountain bike or an everyday commuter, Contender’s got you covered like Spandex.
989 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-364-0344, ContenderBicycles.com
2. Bingham Cyclery
3. Saturday Cycles
The King’s English
There’s a fine line to be walked when selling books. Do you shove the front of the shop full of the same best-sellers stocked at Walmart to appeal to casual readers, or alienate those same customers by featuring only obscure authors and raising an incredulous eyebrow when some hapless creature dare ask for the latest thriller? Thankfully for Utah readers, The King’s English does neither. It’s a shop that appeals to everyone, both spine-stroking book nerds and those simply looking for a good story to pass the time on a weekend flight. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the shop often hosts author events featuring local and national names. Co-owner Betsy Burton and her team simply love books, and want to help Salt Lakers do the same—no matter what form their reading comes in.
1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9100, KingsEnglish.com
2. Weller Book Works
3. Ken Sanders Rare Books
Best Portable Wheels
Just Fold is Salt Lake City’s one-stop shop for compact, foldable transportation, including bikes, longboards, scooters and skateboards. Remember that Simpsons episode where mobster Fat Tony wanted Krusty the Klown to ride a pocket bicycle through a spiral ramp? OK, now discard that image and imagine a lightweight bicycle that transforms down to about the size of a small folding chair. Just Fold specializes in bikes that you can pack easily in the closet, carry with you on public transportation and leave by your desk at work without hassle. Just Fold lets you test ride ’em first, so if you like what you ride, you can buy it, fold it up and carry it home.
944 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-900-3653, JustFold.com