Monday, June 27, 2016

We are thee Destination 'Hood

East Johnson Street, Madison's best kept secret!  We are considered part of downtown, however we're tucked away between Madison's busiest bike corridor on Mifflin and Lake Mendota on a one-way street heading away from the square.  If you're headed away from downtown and totally zoned out you may miss this quaint little destination hood that is home to some of the best shopping, food, cocktails, and local services!

You could easily make a full day out of visiting our street where parking is FREE and right in front of the shops and restaurants (I park right in front of Upshift and walk 4 feet to our front door everyday).  The street signs state that it's a 2 hour limit, but has never been enforced in the 2 years we've called this magnificent street our home.

If you pack up your honey bunny or your little ones and head our way it's best to start your day with coffee at Johnson Public House or as we all call it JPH.  They have baristas on hand that concoct amazing brews and tea that is made alongside super duper awesome food.  And, yes they have beer and wine.

On your way to breakfast stop at Burnie's Rock Shop.  If you never have visited, this is one of Madison's shopping institutions filled with jewelry, stones, and crystals.

Next up, visit Sophia's Bakery (right across the street from Upshift) for the absolute best breakfast you'll ever have, promise!  Everything is organic, homemade, and delightful.  Sit outside on their curbside patio or inside where you sit family style with other patrons (it's not weird, it's actually really heartwarming and reminds us of why we love our little community so much).  Of course if the line is long, and sometimes it is, pop on over to say hi and grab a glass of wine while you put some awesome fashion on hold for a future swap.

After your amazing breakfast, and while your food settles (cause I have 2 more restaurants you're stopping at for lunch and dinner), stop in at the newly opened Drunk Lunch for adorable housewares which is next door to Fontaine.  Prepare to spend some time in Fontaine, it's packed full of the most phenomenal housewares and decorations you'll find in Madison.

Next stop is Good Style Shop, and it is a must stop!  They have the absolute best, curated collection of vintage clothing in Madison.  If retro or vintage isn't your thing it's still worth stopping in because the clothing is high quality and always trend on (my husband got his favorite dress shoes from there and they were way less expensive than a big box retailer and because they were made in the 50's the quality is unbelievable!).

If you're hankering a cocktail (and let's be honest who doesn't while they're shopping *ahem* wine while you shop at Upshift *cough*) a brand new craft cocktail bar opened on our street!  The Robin Room just opened up and serves hand crafted, specialty cocktails.  You know that delightful place called The Merchant, yeah, the guy that helped create their menu opened his own joint.  We are so happy to have this place in our hood!

If cocktails aren't quite your cup of tea stop next door to Macha Tearoom.  Yes, they reopened in our neighborhood! They used to be an institution over on Monroe Street, but headed to our end of town and we could not be happier!

Alright, by now you've had a ton of caffeine and possibly a cocktail or two.  It's time for lunch and the perfect spot is, well, The Spot.  We spend a ton of time there and they have our favorite items on their menu, which continually evolves based on their chef's recommendations.  It's safe to say anything on the menu is unbelievably delicious.  Their food is complex and simple at the same time, but never disappoints (and you're hearing this from one of the pickiest eaters out there).  The food and drinks are super affordable, too.

If you forget any necessities while on your day excursion you can stop at our corner store, Madison Food Mart.  They have everything from produce to beer to munchies or household necessities. If you need to replenish your liquor cabinet stop across the street at Cork N Bottle where they have a wide selection of wines and beers.

Ok, last but not least you should save room for dinner and I insist on Salvatore's Tomato Pies.  Not only the coolest space for a pizzeria, but their pizza pie's are to die for. At this point your shopping bags are full and so is your appetite. You can go home and bask in all the glory that is The East Johnson Neighborhood.

Now for the secret of all best kept secrets.  We are literally 2 blocks away from two of Mad ison's main-stays; Caribou Tavern (where you can get the best burger while you do laundry, yeah you read that right) and Forequarter where your taste buds will not be disappointed.  While you visit be sure to stop at Juneberry Studio and Marketplace for some of the cutest accessories, crafts, and housewares.

Additionally, here are a few businesses on our street that are perfect if you need specialty services:
Black Moon Tattoo
Wilke Chiropractics
Dog Haus University
Spruce Tree Music and Repair
Wisconsink Tattoo and Piercing
Studio 924 Hairstyling
Old Town Cycles
Jewel in the Lotus Yoga

There you have it!  Plan a visit and prepare to fall in love with our neighborhood as much as we all love it!  Every single business that exists in our hood is a small business owned by people in our community.  We depend on patrons like you!  We especially depend on and appreciate when you visit us and then spread the word on your experience.  Word of mouth advertising is the marketing most of us rely on because it has always proven to work.  Thank you in advance for visiting us!

Fashionably yours (and usually with a drink in hand),
Owner of Upshift Swap Shop 

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