"The people who come here just want to have fun and look good doing it," explained Eric Hayes, one of three owners of the fashion-forward Short North boutique Milk Bar.

"We pride ourselves on knowing what the next is," Hayes said.

Milk Bar has bolstered its brand by hosting hot nightlife events in and out of the shop. Co-owner Kareem Jackson has been throwing the popular monthly dance party Get Right since before the boutique opened, and a similar Milk Bar-sponsored event called Oh Gee packed Due Amici last month.

Meanwhile, in-store parties have attracted esteemed Cleveland DJ Mick Boogie and some of his pals, including local rappers-to-watch Fly.Union and Boogie's most famous buddy, LeBron James.

One recent event, Us vs. Them, brought together Milk Bar's normal clientele with an Arena District crowd. The shop is also looking to extend its reach into the suburbs; so far they've added Bexley businessmen and Upper Arlington debutantes to their customer base.

"It's not just about kids coming in here to shop," Hayes said. "Anybody can do it."

Runners up: Skreened, Tiffany & Co.

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