by Kyle Wright - 60 Reviews - 8 List
There's Boston on one side of the bridge, and then there's ... South Boston. Sure, this traditionally Irish-American enclave has gone through rough times, but like any fashionable diva, there's always a comeback on the horizon. The recent proliferation of luxe spots to shop and nosh have made many a Southie's blue collar pop. Ladies and gents, the South has risen again.
(Photo: Courtesy of Shag)
Updated: October 02, 2009
The first step in any great makeover is a fabulous new `do, and this salon has set the mood, pioneering Southie's chic movement. Shag coifs the tresses of many stylish Southie locals, and even downtowners make the trek over the bridge. Owner Sandy Poirier has a staff of self-described rockstar hair gurus who've more than proven they are worthy of the title.
If crowded racks and death-by-lipstick-tsunami at big-box beauty stores have you stressed, a stop at Sarra Beauty will improve your piece of mind--not to mention your beauty routine. This studio-style shop has loads of makeup and skincare, but getting overwhelmed isn't an option. Owner and makeup artist Lauren Genatossio leads guided tutorials and personal consultations to show you the steps to perfect application, a feat she mastered doing makeup for notable magazines. The quick lesson is enough to make you feel like a model everyday.
With their on-point boutique, retail geniuses (and Louis Boston alums) Pam Santorelli and Leila Moore make Southie scads more fashionable by stocking brands rarely carried in Boston, like BB Dakota and Cimarron denim. Fabulous duds aside, a great selection of chic housewares and decor helps dress your nest with inimitable style. The Habit mantra is all about finding pieces that will mix and match with things you already have--that's certainly an addictive habit we can get behind.
Denim from names like William Rast and Joe's Jeans is the main event at Ku De Ta, where a knowledgeable staff is ready and willing to make your butt look perfect in the right pair. It's really all about the clothes--not attitude--at this trendy, straightforward, low-key store. And because shopping is usually a team sport, the boutique hosts girls nights out, where you and your closest friends can shop with a discount, sip wine and snack on appetizers while perusing the racks. The celeb treatment in Southie? No one's been bigger since Whitey Bulger.
Come to this shop for affordable wares from local community artists--whether you're spicing up an outfit or your apartment. You benefit from a stock of inventive pieces (like a one-of-a-kind table created from reclaimed junk mail and magazines), while young artists who are just beginning to explore their medium benefit from the sales. It's an artistic win-win--for furnishing your space and cultivating local talent.
Schlepping around Southie warrants a little pampering, don't you think? Whether you're in the mood for a massage or facial, Spa Christine has a full menu of services just begging to be tried. A nourishing body exfoliation will wash any stress right out your pores, and the super relaxed atmosphere lacks any of the pretense from which uppity downtown spas often suffer.
No stylish trek would be complete without munching at a hot spot, and this South End import is a favorite of local bold-facers. Elevated comfort food puts an unexpected modern twist on familiar favorites (locals swear by the turkey meatloaf), and a cocktail list packed with top-notch booze always leaves you guzzling to the last sip. The best part? Everything is less than $20, so you don't need to break the bank to be fabulous.