Oozing with old Florida charm, Olde Englewood Village is quaint, laid-back, yet sophisticated—especially when it comes to shopping. A cache of antiques and home decorating stores lines West Dearborn Street, a dusty (or should we say sandy) little main thoroughfare that ends just short of breathtaking Lemon Bay. Hours of delightful browsing await, revealing a trove of artisan crafts, coastal decorating finds and extraordinary European vintage furnishings.
A Chicago-style pizza parlor and several restaurants that evoke images of lazy bistros in French or British Caribbean isles provide delicious options for shopping breaks. Factor in visits to Manasota Key’s picturesque Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Englewood Art Center, each a short distance away, and don’t forget to support the homegrown talents featured at the Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay (gallery) and Lemon Bay Playhouse (community theater), both on Dearborn.
Patio in Paradise At Mango Bistro, Ricardo Roggero and his artist wife, Marie Laforge, serve up specialties of their homelands. He’s Brazilian (hence the exquisite coffee blends), and her passion for creative crêpes began in her native Grenoble. Mango Bistro, 301 W. Dearborn St. (941) 681-3500.
Beach basixChris Birchfield’s coastal style works in her stores in Yarmouth, Maine, and Englewood, Fla., with her own waterproof canvas tote designs (from $49). Look for cheery outdoor pillows in chic French Sunbrella fabrics, porch-worthy old wicker and more. Basix on Dearborn, 449 W. Dearborn St. (941) 474-7111.
World ClassThe juxtaposition of unusual gift items and pedigreed English furniture makes a brilliantly eclectic statement at Barbara and Peter Matson’s must-see Blue Pineapple. The couple’s frequent buying trips abroad yield everything from jewel-toned Castelnaudary (France) garden pots to Victorian green glass witches’ sticks. Don’t miss the one-off pair of hand-painted vintage Bombay chests ($1,650 each). Blue Pineapple, 445 W. Dearborn St. (941) 474-1504.
Thrill of the Hunt
Thrill of the HuntRummage through a mélange of vintage finds and repurposed treasures to uncover everything from a rare Majolica turtle to a pair of old French chairs ($6,800) covered in matte black leather and real zebra skin. Jett Thompson Antiques, 447 W. Dearborn St. (941) 460-2777.
Design StarCustomers trek from Naples to Sarasota for decorator Debora Tobe’s driftwood and twig furniture, easy slipcovered chairs, starfish lamps ($382) and unique turtle serving pieces ($18 to $167) by a Georgia potter. Deborah’s Interiors Inc., 457 W. Dearborn St. (941) 474-0007.
ChockablockFull of vintage consignment items, Englewood Antiques is a wondrous emporium run by Artie, Izzie and Ken (who’ve dubbed themselves the Three Old Geezers). Check out the mother-of-pearl Paris Opera glasses ($95). Englewood Antiques, 454 W. Dearborn St. (941) 460-8114.
The Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay Exhibit & Learning Center, 477 & 479 W. Dearborn St., (941) 475-7141, displays everything from jewelry by Beverly Gerety ($30) to a walnut and maple bowl, above, ($800) crafted by Don Cioffi. Across the street, muralist/owner Judy Plank hand-paints accent furniture pieces (end table, $199) in a studio visible to customers browsing a dazzling array of tropical gifts. Daylilies, 452 W. Dearborn St. (941) 473-1840. Elizabeth Bryant’s gallery features her own jewelry creations (from $45), plus necklaces (from $40 to $200) crafted of sea glass, leather, beads and more by Janice Copperstone (shown above). Elizabeth Bryant Gallery & Boutique 200 W. Dearborn St., (941) 475-0785.