We’ve long loved the scenic stretch of shops staggered along Selwyn Avenue. Old favorites, like Shain Gallery and Mary Frances Miller Antiques, still shine, while newcomers arrive bearing gifts and gourmet novelties, like rare seafood and choice meats, crème de la crème chocolates, and cultured wines. You owe it to yourself to stop in and see what’s on the block.
If you’re looking for a gift that shows a little heart and soul in addition to style, we suggest this assorted sister shop to Jewelry Artists of Charlotte as your source. Here you’ll find handbags, handmade jewelry by local artists along with pottery, David French paintings, and baby products, not to mention clothing.
What we love: Include a greeting card featuring the work of a local artist with a showstopping gift.
Besides being delicious, Edible Art’s cakes ($38-$100, depending upon the cake and design) come as big or small and in whatever design you’d like. Plus, pick up ready-to-go cookies, cupcakes, and cake truffles for impromptu parties.
What we love: Cakes in a jar. Slices of any flavor cake—coconut, orange, Key lime—are delicately layered with buttercream frosting in mason jars.
It’s part coffee shop, part art gallery. Inspire your living space with the eclectic artwork and jewelry (not to mention designer Shawna Robinson’s cool patchwork chairs and lounges) from more than fifty local artists that you can browse as you sip fresh roasts and nibble on treats from Tizzerts and Edible Art.
What we love: Most artwork is less than $1,000, and jewelry starts at $8.
The Brass Exchange
If you’ve got a green thumb or an eye for color, step into this welcoming shop to spruce up your home and garden with cheery furnishings and accessories, like iron lanterns, copper pots, vibrant pottery, brightly painted benches, bookcases, and even mantels.
What we love: You’ll find anything from piggy banks to chandeliers under one seriously colorful roof.
Mary Frances Miller Antiques
Shop eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century British and French furniture, mirrors, lamps, and more in a space that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back into your grandparents’ infinitely classic parlor.
What we love: Miller herself will greet you at the door and share stories of her travels abroad to scout the store’s inventory.
The red velvet curtains and red shelves inside this sweets retreat make us feel like we’re in a life-size Valentine’s chocolate box filled with milk, dark, white, liquor-filled, and sugar-crusted chocolates from around the world—Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Colombia.
What we love: Wash down those delectables with a mug of delicious Dallmayr coffee.
New York Butcher Shoppe
We feel like we’re fresh off the streets of Brooklyn when we step into this cute charcuterie, offering mouthwatering, cut-to-order meats, worldly wines, rare cheeses, and gourmet pastas. It’s also the kind of cozy place where you can chew the fat with your butcher as he slices the fat off your rack of lamb.
What we love: Stock up on one (or several) of the butcher’s frozen packages, like the “Times Square,” which includes pounds of London broil, pork tenderloin, ground Angus beef, ground chuck roast, chicken breasts, and center cut pork chops, for easy family dinners.
We love the juxtaposition of antique offerings mixed in with modern merchandise and décor. Scout pieces steeped in history, like French crystal and amethyst chandeliers, partitions and old gin-spouts-turned-lamps, as you add fresh Seda France candles and contemporary silver suede pillows to your cart.
What we love: The shop offers custom design services on lampshades, pillows, wallpaper, fabrics, and carpet.
Exquisite bite-size chocolates from brands such as Cacao Barry and Felchlin and extraordinary flavor profiles, like Earl Grey and Strawberry Balsamic, crowd the candy cases, while fine wines from France, California, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond, line the shelves. Stop in around 3 p.m. for daily tastings and tutorials with co-owner Casey Hickey—a Cordon Bleu–trained chocolatier—and her husband and co-owner, Mark Meissner, a wine connoisseur.
What we love: The chocolates are all handmade, and each bottle has been tasted by Mark, who will profile it in detail before you purchase it.
Clean Catch Fish Market
Scratch your fears about preparing seafood, because at this everything-fish favorite you’ll find rare catches not stocked at the supermarket (tilefish, kajiki, Dover sole), and score cooking tips from the chef himself as he cuts your choices to order. Snag fresh salsas and housemade marinades, too.
What we love: You’ll know exactly where and how your fish was caught before you bite into it.
For more than thirteen years it’s been a go-to gallery for existing and would-be art lovers looking to brighten up their abodes with work by dozens of artists, like Kim Schuessler, whose works grace the walls of the shop.
What we love: A Shain associate will personally come to your home to find the perfect place for your new piece and then help you hang it.
Reid’s Fine Foods
The local favorite now has a new home. Whether you love this regal food reserve for its Southern spiral hams, signature “five o’clock crunch” and vino, or gift baskets that will make you the holiday hero, keep it on your radar.
What we love: A new addition, complete with a seafood kitchen, deli, bakery, butcher shop, and cooking classes.
Click on an image to begin the slideshow. Photographs by Chris Edwards