A Saturday in Highland Park Village

From eating to shopping to buying a luxury car or seeing a movie, Highland Park Village offers it all. The historic Highland Park landmark is a unique destination for its customers, and positioned to grow in the future.

For many Dallas locals, the village, which opened at the southwest corner of Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road in 1931, will always be an iconic place.

For them, the center is not just a place to shop, but also a destination, an experience and a lifestyle. It’s easy to see that excitement on display on just about any busy shopping day.

Here’s a look at a few popular hotspots:

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Royal Blue Grocery

Coffee machines whistle, baristas call out orders, and customers chatter at this modern urban grocery store. The gourmet store, which opened in 2014, offers Stumptown Coffee, daily prepared foods, groceries, fresh produce and flowers.

Maddie Rice, a senior in the Cox Business School studying finance, said Royal Blue Grocery is the perfect setting for a date.

“I ordered a charcuterie board and wine and coffee. They laid everything out with gourmet crackers, cheese, meats, honey and olives,” she said.

Ready, set, let's roll 👊🏼☕️ excited for the fun, full week ahead of family, friends & @shophazen!

A photo posted by Taylor Miller (@ctaylormiller) on

Saturday 10:30 a.m. Highland Park Village Fountain

Perfectly polished ladies and gentlemen stroll under the canopy of trees that line the center’s sidewalks. Shopping bags in hand, they pop in and out of the many luxury and unique boutiques inside the 250,000-square-foot center. The Spanish Mediterranean-style shopping center offers brands such as Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Lela Rose, Trina Turk, Céline, Anthropologie and Roberta Roller Rabbit. In 1978, Ralph Lauren opened its flagship store, which has grown in size from 6,000 square feet to 13,400 square feet, making it the largest Ralph Lauren store in Texas. In 1985, Hermès opened one of just two stores in Texas, which was designed by Hermès family member Rena Dumas. In 1997, the Beretta Gallery opened and remains one of just seven Beretta stores in the world.

Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin opened their first stores in Texas at the center. In addition, Highland Park Village hosts a variety of pop-up boutiques and events.

“These stores are here together in one location, which doesn’t always happen everywhere else,” said Haley Hughes, a 22 year-old SMU student. The shopaholic says shopping in an outside courtyard is part of its appeal.

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Livingston Court

A life-size boxwood hedge carefully trimmed to read “LOCAL” stands between two rows of seasonal and neighborhood artisan stands. The smell of food trucks and floral arrangements linger throughout the mini farmers market. Families and friends approach pumpkin decorating stands, taco carts, and hand-made soap and candle booths. Little children with faces painted grin with fresh pastel colored macaroons in hand from Bisous Bisous Patisserie’s stand.

Loving the flowers this pretty fall morning @avantgardenbytodd @hp_village #swoonthestudio #hpvillagelocal

A photo posted by Samantha Reitmayer Sano (@srsano) on

Until December, Highland Park Village invites local vendors from around north Texas to be part of a family-friendly farmers market. Farm-sourced produce, live entertainment, games and artisan goods fill the Livingston Court entry of Highland Park Village. Shoppers stop at booths such as: Aqua Pop, for fruit infused sparkling waters; Avant Garden, for floral bouquets; Baugh Farms, for farm fresh produce; Kessler Pie Co., for freshly made pies in a jar; and White Rock Soap Gallery, for natural and handmade soaps, candles, and body products.

Saturday, 1:00 p.m. Highland Park Village South Entrance

A Bentley Motors employee and professional European racecar driver opens the passenger door of a 2017 Flying Spur Bentley. All four seats are equipped with built-in massagers. The $205,000 vehicle is just one of six new models on display at the Livingston Avenue entrance to Highland Park Village.

“Bentley is participating in a Ride and Drive promotional tour across the country, stopping in major cities, upscale destinations, resorts and country clubs,” says Katie Fulton, Account Manager of Iris Worldwide and exclusive Bentley event host.

Saturday 3:00 p.m. Draper James

Behind the cashiers, vibrant blue wallpaper covers the wall with several works of arts by various Southern female artists. Crew-cut knit sweaters, bags and accessories all read phrases such as “Go Y’all”, “Pretty as a Picture” and “Hello, Sugar.”

Draper James is the southern line of clothing and home accessories by Reese Witherspoon. Draper James is named after the actress’s grandmother, Dorothea Draper, and her grandfather, William James Witherspoon.

“Draper James is a southern twist on Kate Spade. It is a great addition to Highland Park Village because it targets women of all ages. I distinctly remember a local Dallas woman enthusiastically telling me she knew the store would be a great addition,” says Shannon Hale, SMU Junior and a host at the store’s opening in September.

Hello Lover 💕 @draperjames is now in Dallas 💙

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Reese Witherspoon organized the opening event of the Draper James store and attended with her daughter. She hoped to meet and understand her Dallas customers in a more personal way by attending the opening.

Hale says Witherspoon knew she wanted to open a new location of Draper James but was unsure where to place it. She was advised to open in Highland Park Village by a friend who described the shopping district as “the center of everything”.

Saturday 6 p.m. Bistro 31

French jazz plays in the background as forks, knifes and wine glasses clink against each other. Waiters circle the tables with plates of Escargot Bourguignonne, Rib Eye “Entrecôte” and Spaghetti Chitarra with Lobster Bolognese balancing from their wrists to their shoulders. The European-American restaurant, Bistro 31, sits in the heart of Highland Park Village as a culinary gem. Its menu changes with the seasons but remains a much-loved iconic Highland Park Village restaurant.

Saturday 8 p.m. HP Theater

Red and green marquee lights flash above the vintage theater. Families get milkshakes inside at the snack bar. Couples on dates take the escalator up to the bar before making way to the leather La-Z-Boy chairs to see “The Girl on the Train.”

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Although the Village Theater, with three screens, price point is quite different than Jimmy Choo, it is a large part of what attracts customers to the center.

Diana Wallace is a Dallas real estate brokerage firm employee who often shops at the center.

“I love to shop at Alice and Olivia, Vince and then go to Mi Cocina for dinner and the theater after,” she said.

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