Metairie Road: Old Neighborhood, New Attractions
Metairie’s main thoroughfare attracts a variety of boutiques, merchants and fans.
Photographed by Cheryl Gerber
Metairie Road continues to charm locals and visitors alike with its shady oaks, neighborhood vibe and growing shopping community. From clothing boutiques, housewares and antique shops, to casual and fine dining restaurants, the winding road is packed full of small businesses offering the kind of personal service you’d expect from a neighborhood establishment.
Fashion-forward merchants can be found all along the historic road and have made the area a shopping district all its own. More central and accessible to Greater New Orleans than Magazine Street and the French Quarter, many boutique owners have seen the advantage in simple things like off-street parking.
“Having parking makes it so easy for people to come in,” says Jill Sanchez, Manager of Em’s (246 Metairie Road, 834-2795, Facebook.com/ShopEms, Instagram: @ShopEms). Drivers and neighborhood window shoppers love the new outfits on Em’s storefront mannequins every other day, and the colorful, contemporary merchandise for which the store is known. Em’s caters to women of all ages and hits on a variety of price points featuring lines such as Parker, Twelfth Street, Citizens, Aaron Ashe and more.
“We love being around the corner from clients and building relationships,” says Sanchez, “and we also have a huge online presence with Instagram, so now we ship all over the country.”
Hemline (605 Metairie Road, Suite B, 309-8778, ShopHemline.com) also caters to women of all ages and enjoys the large customer base a neighborhood like Old Metairie can bring.
“I’ve been in this location four years now, and I love this neighborhood,” says owner Leslie White. “We have other stores in New Orleans, but this one is probably geared a little more towards great every day clothes and cocktail dresses – things you can wear from day to night and change very easily.”
In addition to lines such as Tracy Reeves, Hemline also stocks a fair amount of local designers in clothing and accessories, such as Loretta Jane and Mary Lamb jewelry.
A women’s junior sizing clothing boutique originally based out of Baton Rouge, Bella Bella (501 Metairie Road, 834-2009, Facebook.com/BellaBellaBoutiques) has recently found a new Metairie home. New Orleans native Christen Giardina helped facilitate the opening in Metairie three years ago and now manages the latest and larger space near the landmark railroad crossing.
“We carry the same inventory in Baton Rouge, but we enjoy the greater visibility on Metairie Road,” says Giardina. Bella Bella ->
carries casual and dressy clothing, from sportswear to cocktail, as well as shoes and accessories. Lines include Ark & Co. and Seychelles.
Also popular for their clothing and shoes is FeBe (474 Metairie Road, Suite 102, Facebook.com/FeBeClothing). Shoes are hot this fall with several new designs having just arrived to the store.
“We are really excited about the new collections from Vince, Theory and Rachel Zoe,” says store manager Ron Jones. “The leather pieces from these collections are amazing for fall. Also, we’re adding the French brand, Delman, the boot line, Frye, and the new Aerin collection by Aerin Lauder.”
In clothing, Jones is welcoming the first ready-to-wear collection by Marchesa Voyage, best known for their beautiful, ornate red carpet dresses.
Sal Trentacoste, owner and buyer at Elizabeth’s (204 Metairie Road, 833-3717), is also preparing for fall, bringing in lightweight, transitional merchandise perfect for the warm lingering weather during the season’s early months.
“We will have cool silks and cottons and lightweight leather goods – deeper colors but lightweight fabrications,” says Trentacoste, a 30-year veteran and expert in the fashion industry. For the past nine years, the boutique has been an Old Metairie favorite, catering to women of all ages.
“I thought Metairie Road needed an upscale store for the sophisticated woman who likes fashion and great service, and that’s part of our expertise here.”
Service and expertise is also what you’ll find at Second Skin (701 Metairie Road, 322-2931), located in Old Metairie Village. An intimate apparel boutique, Second Skin stocks everything from bras and panties to pajamas, robes and shape wear.
“The main concept of our business is bra sizing – helping you find a more proper bra for your fit and lifestyle,” says owner Ericka Frey, who’s now into her third year at the Old Metairie location. “Big box stores have lots of styles but their sizing isn’t as expanded as ours is.” Personal service at Second Skin helps shoppers avoid the dig through tangled, messy racks at department stores and is the reason Frey’s return customers are spreading the word.
Mirabella (605 Metairie Road, 828-3888, Instagram: @Shop_Mirabella) is known for its selection of women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and handbags, with new selections arriving now for fall, including Hunter boots and FRAME Denim. Over the summer, Mirabella brought a beauty bar into the neighborhood with the addition of Ashley Sievert Beauty.
A rising national trend, beauty bars in fashion boutiques offer customers a one-stop shop for fashion and cosmetic needs. Sievert offers waxing, as well as makeup lessons, application and products. Appointments may be made any day of the week.
“The beauty bar offers something a little different from other boutiques, something new to Metairie Road,” says Mirabella owner Kasey Brosset.
While there’s certainly much of it, Metairie Road isn’t just for women’s fashion – children’s clothing, jewelry, housewares and more, dot the 3.5-mile shopping distance.
<- Banbury Cross (100 Atherton Drive, 837-0447, BanburyCrossOnline.com), located at the corner of Metairie Road, has been a staple for traditional children’s clothing, both casual and dressy, for nearly two decades, and was recently voted the 2013 “Family Favorite Children’s Boutique” by NOLA Baby & Family. With a convenient location in the midst of several schools, Banbury Cross is focused this month on all things “Back to School.”
“We have new fall merchandise, lots of coordinated backpacks, nap mats and lunchboxes – all the back to school necessities,” says store manager Monica Forester.
Also focused on younger generations, B Kids Boutique (115 Metairie Road, Suite B, 301-2954, www.facebook.com/BKidsNola) offers contemporary clothing and accessories for infants and toddlers on up to tweens.
Lending a helping hand to moms, owner Terryn Fudickar supplies affordable clothing and loves assisting with styles for tweens.
“We tell these girls, who are coming into themselves, pick out a few things, and we’ll see your style and go from there. Eight- to 10-year-olds come in with their own opinions – they want to look cool and be different and we offer a lot of options,” says Fudickar, who adds that some mothers even drop their kids off to shop.
Jewelry is another attraction in the Metairie Road shopping scene, and not only are the businesses often run by generations of families, generations of families also happen to be some of their most frequent customers.
Patti Lengsfield is part of the third generation of Hillers working at Hiller Jewelry (923 Metairie Road, 837-8200, HillerJewelry.com). Founded by her grandfather in 1918, Hiller Jewelry has a long history in New Orleans and relocated the custom-jewelry focused business to its current, more personal shop four years ago.
“For many people buying engagement and wedding rings, Hiller is where their parents bought their rings and their grandparents bought theirs. I love when they come in with stories of my father and grandfather,” says Lengsfield.
Just down the street, Boudreaux’s Jewelers (701 Metairie Road, 831-2602, BoudreauxsJewelers.com) shares a similar family history and value of relationships.
“When we do engagement rings for couples, it’s often the beginning of a long-term relationship,” says president Brian Boudreaux. Customers often return to Boudreaux’s down the road for both gifts and fashion needs. In addition to their main bread and butter, engagement rings, Boudreaux’s also offers a fashion forward line of sterling and 18 karat jewelry by Tacori.
In addition to accenting your person, you can also accent your home with a shopping trip to Metairie Road. Located at the corner of and Metairie Road, JADE (110 Rosa Ave., 566-1490, Facebook.com/JADEneworleans) is a treasure trove of brilliant home décor items such as glassware, bedding, furniture, lighting and more. There to help customers visualize their homes, JADE offers consultations and special orders are available upon request. A private line of JADE upholstered furniture reflects the store’s style: contemporary, comfortable and casual.
Shoppers can follow JADE on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for ideas, DIY classes, sales and information on their new loyalty program.
The phrase “Shop ’Til You Drop” must have originated with some unfortunate fall, but you can avoid the fatigue with a simple solution: sustenance!
<- Part of the Ralph Brennan group of restaurants, café b (2700 Metairie Road, 934-4700, cafeb.com) is a great spot to stop in for a delicious bite and to rest your feet. This month, café b celebrates “Crab Fete” with 10 dishes featuring cool Lake Pontchartrain crabmeat. Additionally, their new 2-Course ‘b’ Quick Lunch features soup or salad along with a choice of three entrees. Wind down with 10-cent martinis during lunch with the purchase of an entrée. Just don’t have too many, or your Metairie Road shopping trip may end up an all-out spree!