EXCURSION: Jonesboro's Jewels
Jonesboro, Ark., is a city bursting at its seams with college students, hometown friendliness and a revitalized downtown. Of course, no town consists of just its heart, so we ventured beyond Main Street and found great businesses throughout.
Fragrance lamps at Personal Scents.
photography by Janet Warlick
~ Shopping ~
Jonesboro, like most towns, has a shopping mecca, The Mall at Turtle Creek, to meet the retail needs of its citizens; however, the city also has a good number of independently-owned outlets.
Harmony Gardens is the “mega store” of gardening centers. You’ll find a plethora of plants, flowers, tropicals and greenery to add curb appeal to your front yard. If a backyard oasis is more to your liking, Harmony offers landscape design and chemical treatment services. Purchase garden gnomes, fountains and statues, gazebos, stepping stones, gazing balls and Corinthian Bell wind chimes to add color and charm. For those who love the sight and sound of waterfalls, but don’t want the maintenance work, have the experts design a pondless waterfall.
Once you’ve gotten the exterior of your home perfect, it’s time to do a bit of shopping for yourself. Stop in Personal Scents; where you will find a wide selection of fragrance lamps and oils by Lamp Avenue, La-Tee-Da, LaMaison and others, Personal Scents also carries jewels from local designers as well as handmade jewelry by Jay Schiavone; Beech Sandals; purses; Sedafrance and Woodwick candles; paintings and more.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind jewel for Mom? For your anniversary? Or any special person/occasion? Nelson Gotay is the man for you. Gotay Jewelry Design designs and handcrafts 90 percent of the jewels in his outlet. “Customers come in and request designs. I then create a rendering of the piece and the actual piece … whether its brooches, rings, bracelets … ,” Gotay said. He also sells original artwork by Jonesboro-based artists Mary Chambers; Suzanne Churchill; and Brenda Henmyer.
~ Relaxing ~
Nothing beats an opportunity to be pampered. For a spa experience, look no further than downtown, where you’ll find a trio of great spas. Juliana’s Day Spa offers hair care, nail and spa services, such as manicures, pedicures and massages all in a relaxing and intimate setting.
The staff at Roman Touch Salon and Spa sets a friendly, high-energy atmosphere, while offering a bevy of services including hair and nail services — such as Shellac polish, which has a zero dry time and mirror finish — facials, massages, detox body treatments, spray tans and hand and foot treatments. Be sure to watch TLC’s “Toddlers and Tiaras”; the crew recently filmed a segment, which will air this spring or summer.
Eden Spa & Boutique brings designer brands, such as Juicy Couture, OPI, Volatile shoes, Spanx foundation wear and more, to the city in an elegant setting. Customers may take advantage of their hair and nail services as well. Eden also offers facial services by Obagi as well as chemical peels and microdermabrasion; four cosmetic brands including Nars; spray tans; lash extensions; massages; and more.
~ Dining ~
There are many dining options in Jonesboro, formal and casual. One of the finest is Piero’s, a family-owned and operated culinary oasis. One of the first things you notice … the décor. Owner Piero painted the murals and artwork in the restaurant, providing a wonderful backdrop for the menu orchestrated by chef Marco, Piero’s son. We enjoyed five culinary treasures: a smoked salmon sashimi served with a thyme cream topped with tuna sashimi and avocado with crustini; grilled artichoke with a remoulade; a spinach pasta; their legendary black and blue salad; and fall-off-the-bone ribs with French fries. Every entrée was well-executed, aesthetically-pleasing, and truly lived up to the Piero’s well-deserved reputation.
Just next door, the family affair continues. Piero’s wife has a new venture, Sookie’s Downtown Deli, which specializes in gluten-free bakery items, pastries, cookies, cakes and bread. Sookie’s offers custom cakes to order as well as salads, quiches, sandwiches and gluten-free pizza. Of course, their housemade desserts take center stage … you’ll find gluten-free oatmeal sandwiches, jumbo cookies, cupcakes and chocolate sandwich cookies. Stop in and find out why they’re getting orders from Little Rock, Memphis and as far away as Dallas.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; to start your day off right, drop in Two Sisters Coffee, Deli & Desserts. You’ll find several breakfast sandwiches, muffins, cereal and baked goods to jumpstart your day. Two Sisters also offers wraps, salads, sandwiches, like Rueben and club sandwiches, as well as baked goods and a large assortment of tea and coffee drinks.
One of the city’s hottest new spots is Skinny J’s, where owner James Best and staff offer lunch, dinner and live music nightly. Crawfish Dip and Backwoods crab cakes are two customer favorites as are their steaks. The menu is rounded out by a selection of salads, burgers, sandwiches as well as pasta. Skinny J’s is a great place to kick back with the family or with friends.
Jonesboro is a city bursting with energy and enterprise; don’t miss the chance to enjoy what the city has to offer.