Melrose: Capitol Hill's Quaint Shopping Corner

A city garden of stylish delights thrives along the western edge of Pike and Pine streets.
Cody Bay  |   September 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Find Butter Home up in the rafters of Melrose Market

Entering the Melrose Market—a multipurpose indoor space on Melrose Avenue that houses Rain Shadow Meats, The Calf & Kid cheese shop and floral boutique Marigold and Mint—is like stepping into the beating heart of what defines Northwest refinement right now.

Those who want to take a piece of it home ascend the small stairway between restaurants Bar Ferd’nand and Homegrown to (1) Butter Home, whose teensy but titillating jewelry selection is so fun and affordable, there’s simply no resisting. If you can’t choose just one color of the glossy resin stud earrings from Botny ($15), go ahead and pick up two.

Turn the corner onto Pine Street for a quadruple punch of winning shops: (2) The Vutique, where owner/designer Huan Vu snips and sews vintage dresses and blouses ($65-$145)—and even pants and jewelry—into refreshed creations that look smart and sassy on today’s streets; (3) Scout, the hill’s source for the perfect pair of jeans for both men and women, comfy, sharp-looking knits and a standout piece of jewelry to tie the look together ($30–$200); and (4) Le Frock, a vintage and high-end consignment mainstay where you’re bound to score something in the neighborhood of a like-new Gucci bag for a fraction of the original cost or an original Rudi Gernreich swimsuit from the 1960s.

Topping it all off is (5) Edie’s Shoes, which carries a wide range of street styles from New York and Europe. Shop this block while you still can—it may all be ousted for new retail development in 2013.

Beauty bonus
If a trendy bolt of color is on your fall style list, book an appointment at nearby (6) Scream salon on E Thomas Street (located a five-block walk north of the Melrose Market); the color specialists here are the hill’s best at hair-raising hues.

Park and go
Spots have been sighted with surprising frequency on the sleepy block of Melrose Avenue between Pike and Pine, which also happens to be the trailhead to this short and easy style hike.

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