I spent last Saturday at the Urban Bazaar in the Bishop Arts District (http://bishopartsdistrict.weebly.com) of Dallas. The thing I liked about the neighborhood is that it seemed like a walkable urban community with plenty of small businesses as opposed to the sprawl and strip malls full of big box stores and fast food chains that seem to dominate the landscape around Dallas. We were able to find parking within a few blocks and headed over. The main area covers around four blocks, with some other shops scattered around. The neighborhood is full of independent businesses, including a soda shop, chocolate shop, and a few boutiques along with several restaurants.
One of my favorites was M'Antiques: It was full of old posters, prints, etc -- pretty much any knickknack you could imagine from the 1920's to today. The bazaar itself consisted of many types of vendors ranging from tarot card reader to crafts to custom shirts. Of course, I tried the soda shop (got a Fanta), and then went to Eno's Pizza Tavern (http://www.enospizza.com). Along with pizza, Eno's serves pasta, sandwiches, etc. The pizza was quite good. The crust was thin, but not too crispy. They also serve a variety of microbrews, including the East Coast's own Dogfish Head! Then I headed over to Dude Sweet Chocolate (http://www.dudesweetchocolate.com), a chocolate shop. As soon as we walked in, we were introduced to the store. They make all of their chocolate on site, and we were encouraged to sample as much as we wanted. If you want a Hershey’s bar or a Kit Kat, there is probably a 7-11 or CVS near by. If you want a chocolate bar with Hawaiian chocolate made with cane sugar and honey or chocolate with sea salt and hazelnuts, this is your place. After a few tasty samples, we left with a chocolate bar (WHAT KIND?) and a box. As we left, a chocolate tour came in (how do I sign up for that!!).
My visit to Bishop Arts was a breath of fresh air from the Wal-Marts, Chipotles, and gated communities of the world. I worry that with a neighborhood like this, they could be a victim of their own success and the little café’s and burger joints will be forced out by Starbucks and In-N-Out Burger; or struggle with $6 dollar chocolate bars and $4 soda, I hope the businesses can make it. I, for one, am happy to spend a few extra support them!
(Sorry no pics)