Random, a home and gift boutique that opened five years ago at Inwood Village, is relocating to Hillside Village Shopping Center at Mockingbird and Abrams. The store carries an eclectic selection of goods, including stationery, jewelry, tote bags and funky home accessories, among other “random” stuff.

• Another Hillside Village newcomer is T. Hee! Greetings & Gifts , a popular gift shop in Lake Highlands Plaza that is opening its second store between Lady of America Fitness and 1st & 10 Sports Bar. T. Hee! is known for carrying local goods and gifts whenever possible at the current Walnut Hill and Audelia store, and will carry similar inventory — although more of it — at the new, larger location.

Good 2 Go Taco is moving out of the corner of the Green Spot convenience store into its own storefront at Peavy and Garland (1146 Peavy Road, formerly Las Americas Market). The gourmet taqueria became famous for its chef-rolled soft tacos after a recent appearance on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. But the restaurant had outgrown the space even before the show aired, co-owners Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare say. Visit Good 2 Go Taco’s Facebook page for updates.

Stoney’s Bottle Bargains has moved again. Owner Stone Savage moved the shop from Lower Greenville to the former Grailey’s wine shop on Oram.

Hotslings Inc. closed its doors recently after seven years in the baby sling-making business. East Dallas resident Kristen DeRocha started her home-based biz back in 2003 after becoming frustrated with the sizes, fit and fabrics of baby slings as she shopped for her daughter. Opting to create something to meet her needs, she pulled out her sewing machine and made her own at her kitchen table. She got loads of requests from friends and family, and the rest was history.

DeRocha started receiving orders hand over fist, and became a major manufacturer and supplier for both boutiques and big-box stores, and even created custom lines for Neiman Marcus and Target. Hotslings became a multi-million dollar corporation and the largest manufacturer of pouch-style carriers in the industry. The company’s success made DeRocha’s a popular Cinderella story in the Dallas fashion scene as well as among many networks of women in business and work-at-home moms.

But the baby carrier industry took a huge hit early this year when the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a safety warning and investigation into the potential increased risk of infant suffocation associated with sling carriers. “The CPSC warning against slings really sent everything into a tailspin, even though it had nothing to do with our products,” says DeRocha, who is also the bassist and a vocalist for the all-female band Lovie. Lovie debuted a new EP, “Because of My Mattress”, in May 2010. Check out the Lovie Facebook page for info on upcoming gigs.

In her spare time, DeRocha works for Peacock Alley, a Dallas-based luxury linens manufacturer, in product development.

• Since opening three years ago, business at Barcadia has been booming, so much so that owner Brooke Humphries opened a branch in Houston, and recently signed a lease to open a branch in Fort Worth as well. The bar/arcade at 1917 N. Henderson sports 1950s-themed artwork and décor, and old school 25-cent video games around the perimeter of the room, including Donkey Kong, Q*bert, Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man (waka-waka). There are 24 beers on tap, weekly specials and a menu chock full of killer bar food. If you should need to exercise after indulging in a triple grilled cheese sandwich, head on over to the Skee-Ball lanes in the back corner.

• Located nearby, Humphries’ newest nostalgic (ad)venture is Beauty Bar. The 1970s-style hair salon (Beauty) meets watering hole (Bar) concept, which originated on New York’s Lower East Side, is scheduled to open this month at 1924 N. Henderson. Humphries was a frequent patron of the original venue, and is committed to recreating a similar kitschy, beauty parlor theme for the Dallas locale. Dallas is the 11th location for the retro lounge, which includes locations in Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas. Whether you can get a manicure with your martini (a popular package in New York City) remains to be seen. One thing is certain: Humphries has gone to great lengths to implement an authentic vintage vibe inside and out. Interior renovations include the installation of avocado-colored toilets and linoleum-checked floors.

For those keeping track, the renovated space was vacated by Blue Collar Bar earlier this year, which closed after a year and a half in business. Before that, the space was Z Cafe, a Greek restaurant; and before that, Alforno’s, an Italian restaurant.


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