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Downtown Blog

Outlooks: A one-stop shop for men in Victoria

Looking good and feeling confident is easy for the men of Victoria with a one-stop shop in Outlooks for Men at 534 Yates Street.

But Outlooks for Men isn’t originally a Victoria store. Dale Olsen, then editor at a Kamloops newspaper, bought the store from a friend in Kamloops and moved it to Victoria 23 years ago.

“I always wanted to come back; I’ve always loved Victoria,” says Dale, current owner of Outlooks for Men. “I loved it when I came here to go to university, then I went away and I always wanted to come back.”

An almost-50-year-old downtown gem: The Cobbler

Did you know that The Cobbler shoe store at 718 View Street has been in the same location under the same owners for 46 years? There is a lot going on behind the unassuming store front between Sapphire Day Spa and St. Andrew's Square!

“The owners chose this location because Victoria is such an old city and the downtown is always the heart of an old city and the hub of an old city,” says Marion Martin, store manager. “Every day down here is different. I meet people from all over the world and it’s just interesting.”

Bliss Boutique = West Coast Chic

Siblings Steph and Jeff Shannon aren’t from around here… but their co-owned women’s clothing store – Bliss Boutique – is the epitome of Victoria’s unique West Coast chic style.

Steph and Jeff grew up in Calgary, Alberta; Steph moved to Victoria after high school to pursue an education in graphic design, while Jeff followed a few years later to complete a business degree.

Chorizo & Co, a 3-in-1 Spanish deli, pantry, and café

Chorizo & Co has been a long-time dream for co-owners Tomas Dosil and Jonathan Lee. The idea of opening a Spanish-style deli/pantry/café arose more than ten years ago; business planning began three years ago. The long-awaited shop finally opened last August at 807 Fort Street.

Macaroons and Macarons: not the same thing at all!

Although many of us call the tasty treat on offer at Bon Macaron Patisserie a ‘macaroon,’ we are quite wrong. As co-owner David Boetti is quick to explain, a macaroon is actually a chocolate and coconut confection, whereas his shop’s speciality is the making of MACARONS; pronounced ‘mah-kah-roh,’ dropping the sound of the consonants ‘n’ and ‘s’ in true French style.

Victoria's swimwear and fashion Paradise

“It’s the bathing suits. That’s what people tell their friends about. That’s our number one thing,” says Dani Dubois, co-owner of Paradise Boutique with her sister Rosebud Seads. And it has been that way for over 20 years!

Paradise Boutique, a perennial favourite on LoJo, began life as a summertime pop-up shop called Paradise Cove. The shop was named after their mother’s favourite surf beach in California, and would offer local, handmade, one-piece swimsuits and mix-and-match bikini tops and bottoms to Victoria’s discerning shoppers from a new location each summer.

Serendipity: the story of the Venus Sophia

The Venus Sophia Tea Room and Vegetarian Eatery is an aptly named establishment for its current owners, Sallie and Alain El Alaily. The story of how they met and came to own a tea room in downtown Victoria is represented by the symbolic meaning of the eatery’s name – love, beauty and wisdom.

Love

HtO offers Victorians an endless summer

Seventeen years ago, HtO moved into downtown Victoria where it has become known as the “endless summer” store, sought out for its locally shaped surf boards and candy-coloured collection of bikinis.

Your Sunday best… With a hint of danger

Summer is almost here and Victory Barber & Brand is where men are going in Victoria for a little spring cleaning and some masculine pampering. Victory’s traditional straight shave will have you looking your best for the season ahead, with the added experience of having a cut-throat razor dragged along your jawline.

Fresh, Local... Now

What: Victoria Downtown Farmers’ Market
When: Every Wednesday, 11-3 pm, starting May 29th
Why: What could be better than local food?

The Hudson is soon going to be THE place to go for fresh food in Victoria, BC. The long-awaited Farmers' Market portion of the highly anticipated Victoria Downtown Public Market will open today, beginning a permanent run at the back carriageway of the Hudson building. 

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