It was a gray, rainy and cloudy day when we visited historic downtown New Albany last week. We parked on Market Street and shopped and ate our way through the area, unhindered by the weather. We were there about three hours, but could have easily spent all day exploring. A lot has changed since the last time I wrote about New Albany, but many things remain the same. First and foremost, the people are friendly, chatty and proud to live and work in New Albany, as they’ve always been. They have created an alcove that warrants some definite attention. If Louisvillians are scared of new things, there will be many familiar faces to comfort you: Comfy Cow, Quills, Wick’s, Dragon King’s Daughter, Toast and Regalo all have Louisville bases of operation, as well.
All of this love is contained in just a few square blocks. Simply park and walk; you can even meander around like we did. Here are some of the highlights you must check out.
New Albany Shopping
There are plenty of places to shop in New Albany, with spots for clothing, baby gifts and home decor, and most of them are sourced from local artisans. If there was ever a united front for buying local, it is here.
221 Pearl St. • (812) 944-4078
Just walking in the door of owner Kim Johnson’s gallery, with original art from regional artists, along with handcrafted gifts, accessories and clothes, you know it is a gem. Kim is the longtime director of the art fair, Art in Speed Park, and she has brought this outdoor event inside in her Copper Moon Gallery.
219 Pearl St. • (812) 725-1321
Originally on Spring Street, Colokial is now located on Pearl Street and specializes in unique gifts, jewelry and clothing, all with an international flair. This is a wonderful place to buy a gift or a piece of jewelry that will have people asking “where did you get that?” We love their clothes and their selection of jewelry and hats.
214 Pearl St. • (502) 558-0150
This store showcases local artists and artisans, as well as area farmers and family businesses, more than 20 in all. We saw a wall of local honey and another wall of local lotions and salves made from natural ingredients. There are Amish-made goods and food, as well. While we were there, local artist Dawn Hatzidakis was showcasing her latest necklaces and pendants, shown below.
222 Pearl St. • (812) 725-8508
Housed in the beautiful White House Center, which was built in 1866 and has been home to many retail shops over the past century and a half, Mariposa Consignments and Mariposa Home are both highly recommended by locals. Mariposa Consignments has a vast selection of gowns and formal wear, in addition to quality casual clothing. Mariposa Home is a great place to find that “diamond in the rough” that is worth restoring or upcycling for your home.
222 Pearl St. • (502) 641-8854
Newly opened in the White House Center, this children’s clothing store is gorgeous. It’s owned by Kim Johnson of Copper Moon Gallery and Laura Applegate of Regalo. As you can expect from these two owners, there are great handmade items here from local artists, including personalized onesies and art for your child’s room. This store just opened across from Mariposa Consignments and was so new they did not even have a sign up yet. We wish them the best of luck!
234 E. Pearl St. • (812) 542-6567
Louisvillians are all familiar with Regalo, with locations on South Fourth Street and the Galt House. Laura Applegate runs this location in New Albany, and she is a presence all up and down this street. Regalo is a treasure trove of gifts, along with unique jewelry and accessories … definitely the place to get a great birthday card or something for that person with a really good sense of humor. You could explore this store for hours and still not scratch the surface.
137 E. Market St., Ste. 1 • (812) 841-8152
True North is a beautiful store, with a very natural, organic and minimalist aesthetic. Owned by Michelle Ryan, who followed her “True North” in her dreams of opening her own store, her business has beautiful handcrafted gifts, art, jewelry and some clothing. Southern Indiana has some incredible local talent, and it is on display here.
151 E. Spring St. • (812) 924-7728
We asked owner Amanda Book where she got the name for her newly opened home decor store on Spring Street, and she said that the term “madhouse” is her standard answer when asked how she’s doing. A designer by trade, Amanda says that renovating and decorating your home always is a “madhouse” until you finish and move on to the next project. This store has beautiful home decor, including some furniture and light fixtures.
138 E. Spring St. • (812) 725-7566
We feel like we have watched Dress & Dwell grow up, from a baby to a full-fledged adult, and we have loved watching it blossom. This store is like a mini Anthropologie, with women’s clothing, activewear, jewelry, purses, accessories, entertaining decor and furniture. Recently, they took over the store next door (the former Colokial) and have spread their goodies out across two large spaces. You can also shop online, in case you are not able to go explore there in person.
New Albany Dining
New Albany has a plethora of good eats, with a heavy concentration on local craft beer, beer cheese, meat and pizza. Sounds like heaven.
310 Pearl St. • (812) 948-8858
For four generations, Rookie’s Cookies has been baking for New Albany. They are known for their iced butter wafers (shown below), and after sampling a few, we can assure you this is worth the drive over to buy them.
320 Pearl St. • (812) 944-9760
Now on Pearl Street after moving from its original location on Market Street, this popular restaurant serves authentic Cuban fare. While you are eating the tostones, plantains and Cuban sandwiches, be sure to notice the 1951 Plymouth parked in the middle of the restaurant.
321 Pearl St. • (812) 945-WINE (9463)
This is a one-stop shop with a winery and a bistro, serving up gourmet pizzas, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. With a cozy ambience, diners can eat at tables, or wine lovers can sit on couches on the other side, sampling flights of wine. There is live music on the weekends and an outside patio area with bourbon barrels as tables.
134 E. Market St. • (812) 725-9495
Authentic Italian food right on the main drag of Market Street can be found at Bella Roma. Enjoy delicious pastas, entrees and desserts at this eatery. Guests go for the homemade bread topped with minced garlic and butter, with a side of homemade marinara for dipping. Also popular is the linguine with clams and the lasagna. And if you want to just sample the smells, you’re in luck — you can smell the deliciousness as you walk past.
147 E. Market St. • (812) 920-0761
A blend of Latin American, Caribbean and Southern cuisine awaits you at this corner restaurant, which also pumps great music out into the street for passersby to enjoy. With a menu including everything from empanadas to hot dogs and burgers, this little 10-seat diner is a New Albany favorite. Owner Coqui hails from Puerto Rico and serves his delicious Puerto Rican coffee all day.
141 E. Market St. • (812) 941-8582
A familiar Louisville favorite has had a strong presence in the heart of historic downtown New Albany for the last six years. All your same favorites and breakfast are served all day. We ate here first thing before we started shopping and had lattes, tomato soup and a grilled caprese sandwich and the omelet of the day with hash brown casserole. Okay, fine. I confess. We had two orders of hash brown casserole. It’s that good!
137 E. Market St. • (812) 221-1778
Quills Coffee was packed with people, as we are sure it usually is, with wonderful smells emanating throughout. This is their roastery as well, which explains the smell of sweet caffeine in the air. Try a cortado, a miele or a chai latte; you’ll thank us later.
109 E. Market St. • (812) 924-7197
If we were not so full from our brunch, we would have made a beeline for The Comfy Cow. This is on Market Street, too, located on a busy corner, where we are sure business is booming for this ice cream favorite. With delicious seasonal flavors, incredible milkshakes and our personal favorite, the cookie ice cream sandwich, this is a reason to save room for dessert.
114 E. Main St. • (812) 944-9777
Formerly South Side, which was a favorite cafeteria-style restaurant for many years, Big Four Burgers + Beer has opened up a second location here on this side of the river (their other location is in Jeffersonville). With creative burgers, such as the Henry Baines burger and the Hot Brown burger, the menu also boasts many types of fries. Local favorites are the garlic fries, the cheese fries with chorizo and peppers, and the sweet potato fries with syrup. They also serve beer from the New Albanian Brewing Co.
116 W. Main St. • (812) 920-0454
This is Feast’s original location, most recently taking up a second location in NuLu. Known for their decadent barbecue and bourbon slushies, their headliner dishes are actually their sides. The mac ‘n cheese and loaded tater tots are a reason to make the trip to this spot. Read our review of this restaurant here.
118 W. Main St. • (812) 948-6501
Locals love this place, and we gather that this is the hot spot to eat and get a cocktail. Every shop owner we talked to loves it. Located next door to Feast BBQ in a beautifully restored historic building, this restaurant is large and has a generous side patio with great views of the river and the bridge. Guests love the pork chop and the goat cheese fritters. Like all New Albany restaurants, they also have a great local craft beer selection.
129 W. Main St. • (470) 588-2337
This brewing company and restaurant has a medieval theme, with beers named Dungeon Deeds and Jester. They serve everything from burgers to turkey legs, and the beer comes in growlers, pints, flights and samples.
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