Old Main in Bellevue

Chic boutiques and charming new cafés occupy this classic Eastside shopping district.
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Bellevue may be best known for the brand-name mecca Bellevue Square mall (or more recently, for being at the opposite end of the grumble-inducing 520 bridge toll), but just one block south of the downtown park between Bellevue Way and 100th Avenue lies the sweet Old Main Street district with plenty of new draws that are worth the lake crossing. 

a walk in the park
Conveniently adjacent to the downtown park, Running Elements (10047 Main St., Suite 102; 425.449.8399; runningelementsbellevue.com) can outfit you with a hot new pair of shoes, served with a side of advice from owner and marathon coach Ginny Morris.

get out the plastic
Clothing patterns fill the windowed workshop at the Design 10301 sewing space, shown above, (10301 Main St.; 425.223.4524; design10301.com), two doors down from the SoHo-esque boutique where you can snag the finished products, such as an edgy wrap cardigan from the European-inspired Jarbo line. Or brighten up your home with colorful, jewel-like votives and tumblers from Glassybaby’s Eastside outpost (10230 Main St.; 425.256.2927; glassybaby.com).

to market, to market
Right next to famed deli and bagel shop Gilbert’s on Main (10024 Main St.; 425.455.5650) sits Cantinetta Bellevue’s new sister shop, Mercato Stellina (10000 Main St., Suite 104; 425.732.6611; mercatostellina.com), a small and bright Italian deli offering an array of fresh panini and house-made pastas, in addition to imported goods, such as olive oils, sauces, meats and cheeses.

edible indulgences
If your sweet tooth is begging for a treat, there are plenty of tried and true options in the ‘hood, such as Belle Pastry and Amore Chocolates on Main, but for an off-beat nibble, try a sweet-tart pairing of dark chocolate balsamic vinegar and blood-orange-infused olive oil at the new Two Sisters Olive Oil, shown above, (10129 Main St., Suite 107B; 425.454.2194; twosistersoliveoil.com). There are dozens of oils and vinegars available for your tasting pleasure, with miniature bottles starting at $5.

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Score Edgy Cotton Basics at Downtown's Do The Extraordinary

Downtown apparel and accessories shop DTE offers a little something extra
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An in-store vault opens to reveal secret speakeasy, Blind Tiger

The newest retail outpost from fashion collaborators Justin Kercher and former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is offering downtown shoppers the opportunity to “Do The Extraordinary.” Taking over the 6,000-square-foot space on Sixth Avenue and Olive Way that previously housed European Antiques, Do The Extraordinary (DTE) opened last fall and is a lifestyle boutique for men and women offering locally designed, handmade, ready-to-wear clothing and accessories for the fashion-forward Seattleite. The brand’s edgy cotton basics come in black, white and various shades of gray, and include muscle T-shirts and sporty sweats for men, and tunics and dresses for women.

“DTE is really about the customers and creating an experience,” Kercher says. The space combines influences of the Seattle outdoors with urban design. Blow-torched sequoia tree tables and painted antlers flank vintage couches and hand-poured cement floors. Hidden behind the cash register area, speakeasy Blind Tiger, designed by Kercher and his family, is set up for private events and intimate concerts featuring local bands and DJs. DTE’s fall lineup includes several album release parties as well as a fall/winter fashion show.

The store’s upcoming events will “take [the retail experience] to another level,” says Kercher. Downtown, 1810 Sixth Ave.; dotheextraordinary.com