Dallas' Victory Park, anchored by the American Airlines Center and the W Hotel, might seem like just another destination designed by big-box developers, devoted to sports-lovers and out-of-towners, but upon closer inspection, its tenants include not only include outposts of national chains (the aforementioned W, and Craft) but also a number of small businesses that keep the most discerning Dallasites coming back and clamoring for more.
Dallas is a town where Tex-Mex could be considered a food group; locals are know to show near religious devotion to their favorite haunts. One solid option is Luna de Noche, which has several locations in the city, including one at Victory Park. Start your afternoon off with a bit of sustenance and have a bite for lunch; go ahead and order a margarita–they've got some of the city's best–while you enjoy their killer salsa. For the main event, a half order of their Chicken Fajita Quesadillas, or a bowl of the Xochitl Soup, will probably be more than enough to keep you going.
Then, it's off to the races. Down the street, a trifecta of shops awaits: a very fashion-forward boutique for you, and one for both the home and hommes. First, stop into Haven, an interiors emporium owned by Jon Tutolo and John Bassignani. Before you walk in, check out the adorable sign on the door to see if the adorable store pup, a cocker spaniel named Homer, is “in.” While you're there, be sure to check out their collection of Swan's Island blankets, fantastic array of art books, and cool collection of candles. Take note of the art, too–they pull great pieces from local artists, and all of it's for sale, too.
Next door, V.O.D., a women's fashion boutique with one of the coolest vibes in town, helmed by the lovely trio of Liz Thompson, Jackie Bolin, and Elizabeth O'Mahoney, has an all-star line up from the likes of Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Vanessa Bruno, Tom Binns, and Maria Cornejo. Be sure to also browse the racks of vintage designer pieces from Archive Vintage, selected by Resurrection alum Kerry Bonnell.
And next door to them, Duncan Quinn, a bespoke tailor best described as Savile Row by way of Spring Street, offers boldly colored ties, striped shirts, and yes, better than made-to-measure suits. A little something from their collection of men's accessories, including pocket squares, cuff links, and umbrellas would make a perfect gift for the guy back at home.
If you've still got dollars to spend and time to keep scouting, keep walking down the block to Henry Beguelin. Filled with the leather house's signature quirky goods including super-cute embroidered card cases and super-cool footwear, there's a something for everyone.
After all that retail therapy, should you feel the need for a hint of culture, just a hop, skip, and a jump over Woodall Rogers Freeway is the Renzo Piano-designed Nasher Sculpture Center. Housing the legendary collection of Raymond and Patsy Nasher, and open since 2003, it's the ultimate urban oasis. Once you're there, grab a seat at the outdoor cafe in the sculpture garden and have cup of coffee while you take in large-scale works by artists including Richard Serra and James Turrell.
Luna de Noche, 2300 Victory Park Lane, (214)420-3050
Haven, 2416 Victory Park Lane, (214)954-1515
VOD, 2418 Victory Park Lane, (214)754-0644
Duncan Quinn, 2420 Victory Park Lane, (214)953-1953
Henry Beguelin, 2426 Victory Park Lane, (214)303-0120
Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora Street, (214)242-5100
Photo, Interior of V.O.D., by Allison D. Smith.