Sometimes aesthetics are everything. The Iron Horse Hotel nailed the modern industrial vibe from the moment they opened in 2008. Now they’ve done it again with Mercantile, the small retail store opened adjacent to Smyth restaurant on the first floor. I’ve been meaning to go since it opened in July, and now that the gift-giving season upon us, I had no more excuses.
A Chicago-based firm specializing in hotel retail helped curated the store, which features lots of local goods like Stella and Chewy’s Dog Treats (the hotel is also dog-friendly), Indulgence chocolates, Brass Rooster soaps and leather key chains and card holders from h(om)e/Heather Hambrecht.
Kellen, the friendly shop clerk (who you might also recognize as local hip-hop artist Klassik, featured in this month’s issue) helped me pick out a few favorite items that any guy or gal would love getting for a holiday gift.
Here's what he picked:
· Winter Session all-purpose utility canvas roll-up ($65): Hold tools, make-up brushes, chef knives or whatever else you can dream up. Plus, gray and orange is a sublime color combo.
· Further hand lotion ($16): The unisex scent and soft, non-greasy feeling is a must-have to replenish hard-working and wind-burned hands, feet and bodies this time of year.
· HollenWolff cufflinks ($495): The stainless steel mechanical cuff links use ball bearings to secure and release each half. James Lohmiller and Kyle Stoehr make them locally and although they are a splurge, it’s a distinctive gift built to last.
There is also a funky mix of vintage and handmade jewelry from local designer Kelly Adamczyk, who is the Banquet Captain at the hotel. Kellen tells me the Iron Horse t-shirts, pint glasses and terrycloth bathrobes are also popular items. You really can’t go wrong with any of the unique, well-made items at Mercantile.
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