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Looking for the Unusual? Then Look to Larchmere

Like books? Then check out Loganberry Books. This independent bookseller (yes, they still exist) is celebrating its 20th anniversary and offers an inventory of new, used, and rare books for readers and collectors. Just entering the store is a treat. Fancy arches at the front of the store are architectural fragments from a mansion torn down in Barberton, Ohio, and is where you’ll find leather-bound and decorative bindings, including large sets, and individual volumes, mostly dating between 1880-1920, though some are even older. High ceilings, natural light, and warm rugs provide an air of comfort and coziness throughout this multiroom treasure trove of literature – home to about 100,000 volumes (owner Harriett Logan says they don’t know for sure because they’re still counting). This truly is a bibliophile’s paradise with its leather-bound and modern first editions and extensive sections devoted to children’s literature and modern literature, art, design, and the performing arts, art, the sciences, many types of history, and a wonderful array to tchotchkes. So come on in and browse. Engage owner Harriett Logan or one of her knowledgeable staff. And leave with your mind refreshed, and books and tchotchkes you can’t wait to bring home. (13015 Larchmere Boulevard; 216.795.9800) 

If you appreciate unusual art and clothing, The Dancing Sheep is your one-stop destination. This unique gallery features wearable art and special gifts in all price ranges. Some of the items found here are crafted by artists from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Textile Art Alliance. One-of-a-kind jackets, vests, and tunics by fabric artist – sold in only seven boutiques in the United States – are found here. Owner Lynne Alfred and her staff are helpful and knowledgeable about the items they sell and the artists who create them. Plus, free gift wrapping is available. And if you’re looking for unique baby gifts, The Dancing Sheep has an amazing selection. So stop in, relax, do some shopping, and leave with a special gift for a special loved one. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get something nice for yourself. (12712 Larchmere Bouldevard; 216.229.5770) 

And if fine crafts is what you’re after, then American Crafts Gallery, located in the mezzanine of The Dancing Sheep is where you want to head. Here you’ll find a charming and eclectic selection of handmade textiles and jewelry, hand-blown glass, wooden furniture, metalworks, and pottery in all price ranges. Niche Magazine named American Crafts one of its “Top 100 Galleries” and with good reason because everything here is a unique original.

Of course, shopping for the unusual can result in a serious appetite. One of Larchmere's newest ad most unusual dining spots is Batuqui (216.801.0227) where the flavors of Brazil await you. Here are some more Larchmere favorites: the Felice Urban Café (216.791.0918) for globally insired fare; the Acadamy Tavern (216.229-1171) for “all-American food; Big Al’s Diner (216.791.8550) for home-style lunches and pre-shopping breakfasts; Flying Cranes (216.795.1033) for sandwiches, salads, soups, and sushi; and Jezebel's Bayou (216.721.3877) for New Orleans-inspired cuisine.