Boutique re-opens after January fire

Last seen in Grandview before it was destroyed in a block-wide fire in January, Cheesecake Boutique has been reincarnated in Upper Arlington.

Mother-daughter team Betsy Johnston and Ashley Seminari stuck with the same concept for the women's clothing shop, bringing back lots of the same lines - Tribal, Michael Stars, Tulle and BCBG - and outfitting the new space with most of the same fixtures and color scheme. (Well, not the exact same fixtures, as everything melted into an unrecognizable mess at the old store.)

For fall, they've got lots of knit sweaters, lace layering tops, wrap dresses and dark denim. And although accessories aren't their focus, fall pieces include belts with attention-to-detail buckles, jewelry that's heavy on colorful stones, boots and peep-toe heels that just beg to be paired with warm, textured tights.

And if anything will get you excited about winter in August, it's Cheesecake's selection of wool coats in bright solids, black-and-white stripes, cropped shapes and swing styles.

Johnston and Seminari opened the store at 1760 W. Lane Ave. in mid-August and said their regulars have been thrilled the store is back. The owners are happy, too.

"You gotta love what you do to do it again, after the fire," Johnston said.

Local show struts its stuff a second time

They've promised to bring national attention to Columbus' fashion designers. And with their second-annual fashion show, the owners and organizers of JWORK Ltd. are advancing their plan.

This year's C.O. Tour raises the bar a bit for the seven participating designers, asking them to design around the theme "The Garden of the Gods ..."

"We present thestory of Pandora, the first mortal female," said Darrell Hunter, JWORK's marketing officer. "It is our youthful, vibrant,adaptation of an age-old story."

The designers returning after last year's show are Akira Takashi, whose pieces have an Asian aesthetic, and JWORK, whose lines feature iconic images on tees and tops. Other designers include Artista Luna, Miranda Davis and Dynast Customs.

JWORK plans to turn the show into an out-of-state tour in 2011.

This year's show is happening Sept. 11 at Villa Milano on the Northwest Side, and tickets are on sale at

Monthly happenings

Olde Towne East will have its first regular gallery hop from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.

Bars, restaurants and a new gym in the neighborhood will use the opportunity to stay open late and display artwork on their walls. Carabar, Black Creek Bistro and Capital City Tattoo are among those participating, said Matthew Hickey, who owns the new CORE Studios and is helping organize the hop.

The Olde Towne East Gallery Hop will continue on the last Sunday of the month.

A section of Clintonville storefronts is staying open late for an evening of cornhole, shopping and general revelry - and instead of calling it a "hop," they've come up with "block party."

The Brighton Block Party is happening Sept. 3 and includes Skreened, Seagull Bags, Central City Recording, Aggressive Hippie Studios and Embassy Boardshop.

At this point, it is planned as a one-time-only event.

Brittany Kress keeps up on the latest in local retail so you don't have to. For shopping news and to win product giveaways, click to the Window Shopping blog