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Walnut Creek Magazine

Boutique Blitz At Broadway Plaza

Sep 13, 2016 01:57PM ● By Fran Miller


Finding yourself a little lost navigating all the new retailers at Broadway Plaza? Hit these standouts for your fall essentials: fashion, fitness, beauty and furniture. 

By Fran Miller
Photography by Guy Ben David

Apex: This branch of Sunglass Hut is the place for sport performance and active lifestyle shades. You’ll find the usual brands like Ray-Ban, Maui Jim and Arnette, and under-the-radar lines such as Costa Del Mar­­––made by fishermen for fisherman. Or create a pair of custom Oakleys on the spot, frame, lenses and logo.

Arhaus: With 20,000 square feet of distinctive home goods, this purveyor of design uses its space to create inspiring ‘lifestyle stories’ through which to meander. Arhaus stylists travel the globe for concepts that are then translated into the company’s own merchandise. From lamps to barware to accent tables, everything is made in the U.S. Whether you’re in the market for a new couch or just looking for decorating inspiration, the dramatic vignettes are worth a look.

Boudin Bakery: It’s back! The popular San Francisco sourdough bakery reopened in the new Broadway Plaza with a spacious restaurant and plenty of indoor/outdoor seating. While you’ll still find dreamy chowder bowls on the menu and animal-shaped breads in the bakery, you’ll also grilled brie with apple and fig sandwiches, baguette burgers, chicken sesame salad, plus beer and wine.

Kiehl’s: Founded in 1851 at the corner of 3rd and 13th in NYC, this modern apothecary is a go-to for beauty needs. Famous for their all-natural ingredients and scientific formulas, Kiehl’s has skin care solutions for women, men, and even babies. Take a look at their “Top Ten” wall to find the products that cause customers to rave. 

Kit & Ace

Kit & Ace: This Canadian company, best known for its machine-washable cashmere, was founded by Shannon Wilson, former lead designer of Lululemon. Meticulously tailored men’s and women’s basics, made with proprietary tech fabric, are sleek and simple with functional details like venting, wicking and stain shield technology—designed for what they call ‘full-contact days’ that start with a hike at dawn and end with a red-eye.

Lou & Grey: Fans of Ann Taylor and The Loft are familiar with this offshoot that focuses on a neutral color palette of sporty and loungey soft-dressing pieces dubbed ‘lifewear.’ Their inventory echoes the trend in urban active wear­­­­­––casual yet elegant pieces that seamlessly take you from morning to night. Lou & Grey also has a great collection of artisan perfumes, soaps and jewelry perfect for gift-giving.

Lululemon Athletica: A move to the main drag has provided Lululemon a larger space to showcase their trendy athletic wear. High ceilings, natural light and additional square footage means more inventory, especially for men. The new floor plan also provides ample room for their free Sunday morning (9:30am) yoga class, currently held in Civic Park until late fall, when it moves in-store. The Tuesday 6:30pm run club, now in its sixth year, continues to meet at this new location.

 LUSH: Handmade cosmetics and bath products take personal hygiene to new levels of fun. Vibrant scents and textures are derived from organic fruits and vegetables, and essential oils. The Vancouver-based company focuses on ethically sourced items with no synthetic preservatives; limited packaging reduces waste. Try the Ocean Salt Exfoliator for tighter and brighter skin, or the customer favorite, Lush original Bath Bombs––colorful, fizzy explosions of varying aromas.

Madewell: This denim and comfortable, slouchy women’s wear label stepped out from under its J. Crew shadow a few years ago, and hasn’t looked back. Featuring timeless and effortless casual wear and leather goods, Madewell essentials include the plaid ‘ex-boyfriend shirt,’ the ‘whisper cotton t,’ the leather ‘transport tote,’ and of course, a great pair of jeans...or two.


Nespresso: Looking more like a high-end boutique than a caffeine store, Nespresso’s newest location glows with bright, jewel-toned espresso and coffee pods, and stylish machines. Try new flavors at the tasting bar, then learn how the variety of machines brew the perfect cup every time. As a Nespresso devotee, you’ll become a member of their ‘club,’ over which George Clooney currently presides.

Soma: Those who love Soma products––and there are many––are excited about this store. Related to Chico’s and White House Black Market, Soma is known for luxuriously soft and great fitting lingerie, loungewear, and now workout wear, but its brick and mortar shops are few and far between. Soma promises 'a fit for every body' and provides warm, personal service. Try their “Cool Nights” soft and breathable sleepwear––perfect for our warm Indian Summers.

Teavana: It’s a tea lover’s dream. This boutique chain, now owned by Starbucks, sources high quality tea from around the world. Guests are invited to see, smell and mix personal blends from 75 different loose leafs. Find the latest and greatest in brewing, and let the staff tell you how tea and its rituals can help calm and cleanse. Ask about Matcha Green Tea powder. Devotees claim it changes lives.

Vince Camuto: Known for its shoe line, Vince Camuto moved into handbags and women’s clothing several years ago, but here shoes steal the show. Stylish and affordable, Vince Camuto is the perfect spot to find a standout pair. As one of the sales clerks says, “This is where to shop if you’re headed to Vegas.”



This luxury lifestylebrand combines the art of living, eating and looking well with a diverse retail selection that includes herbal teas, yoga mats, aromatherapy, candles and skin care products.The stand-out here is Venofye touted as a “natural Botox” made in part from bee venom that works to diminish blemishes, rejuvenate skin and erase the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

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