Downtown Delights

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Hidden among the shops and cafés of downtown Conway lies a well-kept secret: a good time.

Set aside a Saturday afternoon and give it a try. Leave cars and cares behind and walk a few blocks. You won’t waste your time or lose your cool.

To start out with a burst of energy, begin the journey at Something Brewing, a coffee shop and café at the corner of Front and Mill streets. Established in 1999, Something Brewing provides the perfect little coffee shop niche needed in any community.

With everything from caffeine fixes to full meals, Something Brewing has a menu that accommodates all needs and whims.

Drinks include regular, flavored and frozen coffees; ice cream and shakes; and fruit and flavored smoothies.

Simple items like lattes and chai teas are just as delicious as specialty drinks like the double fudge frappe and black forest mocha.

Owners Liz and Larry Eoff expanded the menu in January to include more than just sandwiches.

The menu still sports some old favorites like the bacon egg and cheese sandwich – complete with two large fried eggs, white American cheese, cream cheese, honey and onions on a croissant, bagel or biscuit with a banana on the side. Other standards like the egg salad sandwiches and veggie sandwiches are also still there.

Alongside these typical coffee shop favorites, diners now have the options that allow them to eat like they’re at a restaurant – cheeseburgers, hot grilled panini sandwiches, omelets, soups and salads.

Breakfast and lunch are served all day long.

The waiters are quick, friendly and willing to go out of their way for customers. But, better yet, they’ll let you sit there for hours too. Something Brewing is study-friendly. Take your laptop, stay awhile and enjoy the calm atmosphere and wireless Internet.

Something Brewing is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Once thoroughly refueled (or with to-go cup in tow), head down Front Street toward Toad Suck Square. Be sure to stop by Junk Queen, a second-hand and vintage specialty shop on the left side of the street. An awning decorated with a row of brightly colored lawn chairs will announce you’re in the right place.

Once inside, a collection of cats and dogs with announce your arrival and continue to beg for scraps of attention as you make your way around the store. There’s plenty to look at – lots of the delightful junk as promised and a whole room full of vintage clothing. The selection of clothes is great, the jewelry even better and the shoes best of all. Don’t be embarrassed of getting carried away while trying on outfits from every decade. It’s all part of the fun. The Junk Queen is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After bidding the pets of the Junk Queen farewell, go ahead and cross the street. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, stop by Intimate Moments Boutique, a lingerie shop with bedroom accessories and an 18-and-over room. Intimate Moments is a must-stop for those looking to add an extra set of day-glow underwear or glow-in-the-dark platform heels to their collection. Intimate Moments Boutique is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Take a left at Toad Suck Square and the possibilities are endless – shopping, dining, video gaming, skateboarding, concert going and more.

If it’s getting late in the evening – close to 6 p.m. – the streets will be empty, but the evening’s not over yet.

Turn right on Chester Street and duck into Vintage to Vogue for a quirky collection of men and women’s clothing of all varieties. The selection ranges from threadbare ’70s T-shirts your dad might have worn, to full-length, authentic Japanese kimonos. Stay a while, and Vintage to Vogue will provide yet another opportunity for good shopping and good conversation. Vintage to Vogue is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

About one Saturday a month, the Silver Screen Cinema shows a film on their big outdoor screen in a lot next to Vintage to Vogue. Admittance usually costs $1. Beginning times vary. Watch for signs and bring a lawn chair. You can sit and think about your day of good conversations and great buys while you wait for the movie to start, and watch all the families and children running around. It’s that combination of small town charm and big city opportunities that form the best of what Conway has to offer.

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