Schenectady has been undergoing a renaissance over the past few years. There’s something new to explore every time you pop by. From craft breweries and distilleries to dynamic restaurants with authentic flavors, and everything in between, Schenectady has become a center for unique boutiques and retail incubators that house local talent. Go see it for yourself… Here are our top 5 favorite spots:
- The Clinton Street Mercantile – 148 Clinton Street
- AKA the “Merc,” is the downtown go-to spot to shop for local goods made by artisans all over the Capital Region. Its cozy atmosphere holds everything from furniture, jewelry, photography, clothing, and custom work, all creatively curated by the makers in the space. The idea is to give these artists a chance to build a brand, learn how to interact with customers, and encourages them to realize their dreams of owning their own business. They also offer workshops and classes that are led by the vendors themselves. The Merc has expanded to Lark St. in Albany.
- Bluebird Home Decor – 514 State Street
- When you walk into Bluebird, you walk into this peaceful, comforting, home-like space, surrounded by beautiful work from over 20 artists and businesses from around the U.S. (as well as six fair-trade companies). They sell many vintage pieces that are one-of-a-kind and in our opinions, really speak to the soul. The shop is truly an experience.
- The Schenectady Trading Company – 609 Union Street
- The holidays have passed, but treating yourself is always in season. That’s where The Schenectady Trading Company comes in. Schenectady native Caroline Bardwell was so inspired by the creativity of the people around her that she opened her business to showcase local goods and connect the modern consumer to the modern producer. We think she’s nailed it. With products covering almost every genre (including workshops!), you’ll walk away with a load of goodies and an appreciation for the amazing breadth of talent living and creating in Schenectady.
- Villa Italia – 226 Broadway
- Ain’t no sweet tooth, like a CapGirl sweet tooth, so we couldn’t be happier that Villa Italia exists in this world. When you walk in, both your eyes and your nose are treated to a heavenly array of baked goods from cannoli to rugelach to cupcakes and beyond. Seriously, give yourself a moment to take it all in. Inhale. Exhale. Ahhh… For over 50 years, Villa Italia has been treating locals to delicious sweets, but if you’re feeling something savory, they have you covered too with soup, salads, and sandwiches.
- b. Inspired – 104 Mohawk Avenue (Scotia)
- We love, love, love this store and its impact on its local community. b. inspired is located just outside downtown Schenectady in Scotia. The owner hopes to use this lifestyle concept store as a catalyst to spark further development of the walkable area it resides in. The goal of the shop is to “inspire” and motivate, to create a lifestyle that tells your story in new and interesting ways using handpicked items with an emphasis on a boho-chic vibe. Oh, don’t forget to stop at the terrarium bar and create your own terrarium to bring home!
There’s a flavor for everybody’s taste in Schenectady. Go explore these gems and get lost discovering Schenectady on your own! Be sure to tag us in your adventures, so we can share the love: @CapGirlsNY.