On the ABC-TV show Desperate Housewives, the women who live on Wisteria Lane have deep, dark secrets. On Metairie Road it’s the shops, restaurants and office buildings that store the secrets and you’re the one likely to dig up the hidden items, exquisite gems and killer prices.
Take Imedla’s (501 Metairie Road), for instance. The store, which mainly sells shoes, carries more than 60 different brands. It also carries contemporary knit dresses, purses and jewelry. But back to the shoes for a minute… did you know that when you buy 10 pairs you get one pair free? “We have a club card,” says Abby Drake, who co-owns the store with Sally Fowler, Claudia Nelson and Ann Roberts. “You buy 10 pairs and you get a free pair for the average amount you’ve spent in the store, that way you can use that credit toward anything you want, not just shoes.”
If you’re looking for a large selection of women’s clothing FeBe will make you do a double-take. Yes, it does have two locations on Metairie Road but that’s not why.
“People are surprised by how big we are and how much merchandise we have,” says Manager Ron Jones. “We really try to offer an edited collection of what you’d find in a department store and offer a personal shopping experience.”
The FeBe store at 115 Metairie Road has more casual dresses, jeans and t-shirts; whereas the other location (at 474) carries Diane von Fürstenberg, Cuba handbags and other designer clothes and accessories. Both stores feature more than 20 brands of designer jeans.
Elizabeth’s (204 Metairie Road), is another place where the selection will knock your heels off. But don’t worry, they carry shoes there, too. The full service women’s clothing store is considered a one-stop shop. “You can basically buy everything here from pretty much head to toe,” says owner Sal Trentacoste. The store features sophisticated clothes and a range of outfits from casual to cocktail.
Other stores along Metairie Road are much more specialized yet still offer the chance to uncover things. At Linen Registry (204 Metairie Road), you can literally uncover many of them. The fine linens store actually matches your linens to your personality with a dash of Southern charm. “We really make it like shopping on Canal Street in the days before the malls,” says storeowner Lee McKee. Aside from its lingerie, loungewear, beds and furniture, the shop is known for its bridal registry. Many people are surprised by the elegant and fragrant soaps collection, which includes Baudelaire and Gianna Rose Atelier. If your idea of flowers involve precious and semi-precious gemstones, Boudreaux Jewelers (701 Metairie Road) is the place to be. The family-owned store has the creative and highly sought-after Bixby collection. “It’s a very intricate and elaborate design, very fashion forward, it’s a new line and very popular for us,” says President Bryan Boudreaux. From beautiful works of art to beautiful art pieces, at LeMieux Galleries (200 Metairie Road), you’ll find the perfect handmade box to keep jewelry, as well as beautiful ceramics, vases and functional bowls and perfume canters. The store also features a unique frame shop with “X-ray” vision. “We use this new software and you can see your frame in the monitor and get an idea of what it’s going to look like,” says Denise Berthiaume, Owner and Director. Still, the shop is known for its keen eye, with or without the “virtual” look. “We have clients say ‘you do it, you decide!’”
Other beautiful and natural work of art can be seen at Longue Vue House and Gardens (7 Bamboo Road, less than a block from Metairie Road). The Classical Revival Estate features eight acres of gardens, antiques, tours and a museum store. Did you know you don’t have to tour the grounds to peruse the store? “It’s not typical, it’s very cozy, friendly and welcoming,” says Lee Doane, Buyer and Manager of the shop. “We have museum reproductions but a lot of wonderful baby gifts. We also have a discovery garden with children’s programs, educational crafts, and things like that.” The selection is huge. “People rave about the prices,” she says.
Hungry shoppers will want to pop into Chateau du Lac Bistro (2037 Metairie Road). The classic French bistro serves something new, fresh and French every day. “The food is traditionally French but it’s not fancy cuisine. It’s very much comfort food,” says Owner and General Manager, Paige Saleun. She says the casual, home-like atmosphere often surprises people. “Chef Jacques, my husband, lets people come into the kitchen. We have a serving window and people just come over and stand by the window and chat,” she says. “He’s back there. He’s not a chef that walks around and hires someone else to do his food. He does his own food.”
If the thought of French food makes you long for French travel you’ll have to pay a visit to Designer Travel (433 Metairie Road). “I can do a $500 trip just as easily as I can do a $5,000 trip,” says Travel Agent Kathy Galliand. Those wishing to keep costs down can book a getaway to Jacksonville or St. Augustine, though Galliand says cruises, especially European cruises, hold great value these days. “The dollar is so bad against the euro and you’re paying in dollars and virtually everything on the ship is included. It’s not as offensive as if you have to turn your dollars into euros.”
And well, if you’re not a travel buff and the idea of going anywhere leaves you pulling your hair out prematurely, you’re in luck… you know that Old Metairie Dermatology practice? They’ve just added a hair restoration and transplantation specialist! Not only that, while you’re there inquire about the full line of dermatological services, including non-invasive treatments like facial fillers, Botox and laser therapy.
Dr. Patricia Farris, (701 Metairie Road) who owns the clinic, says she treats patients of all shapes and sizes. “People go, ‘Do you see kids?’ Every day,” she says. “We offer from children to mature adults. We have dermatological care for everybody.”
And so, the secrets are out. Metairie Road, the suburban street with its well-manicured trees, label-filled shops and fearless boutiques have come front and center.