March Street Smarts: A quickie guide to a few notable shops on South Main Street in Concord

With a brand new ginormous parking deck/office space and the très-cool Red River Theatre, South Main is the new place to be. Here are some of its fortunate denizens. 1. It’s a museum and craft center for kids with a pirate ship, a musical treehouse and even a tiny interactive version of some downtown shops. But Kaleidoscope Children's Museum at 8 S. Main is also a cool source for toys that facilitate learning and imagination — or both. This make-your-own monster puppet is popular, as is the wooden sushi play set. (603) 229-4526, 2. Fresh organic produce, often from local growers, frozen vegan dinners, beans and grains sold in bulk: sounds like a typical health food store, but Concord Cooperative Market on 24 S. Main St. is bright, clean and bustling with new ideas, like their Grab ‘n’ Go all-natural sandwiches and soups made fresh by their own pastry and food chefs. It’s a real co-op with member responsibilities and benefits. (603) 225-6840 3. Wine lovers will love to linger at Concord WineCellar Inc. at 28 S. Main. A hand-selected list of choice varietals and a knowledgeable proprietor, Carolyn Tarr, make this a great place to drop in and talk vino, or learn the language of the grape. Open from Tue. to Fri. 11 to 6 and Sat. 10 to 5. They also host regular wine tastings. (603) 224-2200 4. The green scene has found its complete expression in Real Green Goods, an Earth-friendly department store at 35 S. Main. OK, it’s sized a bit more like an Earth-friendly general store, but there is an amazing assortment of green products from cleaning supplies to personal care items to home goods to clothing and reusable shopping bags. (603) 224-9700 5. Bread and Chocolate at 29 S. Main St. needs no introduction beyond its mouth-watering name, except to note that the confections of this world-class, European-style bakery extend well beyond those two food groups. The fact that the bakery and café are attached by a passageway to Gibson’s, one of the best independent bookstores in the state, only sweetens the deal. B&C: (603) 228-3330, Gibson’s Books: (603) 224-0562. 6. New Age stores may seem a bit old fashioned in the 21st century, but Pachamama at 1 S. Main St. will not disappoint anyone looking for something that tinkles or shimmers with “psychic energy.” They host psychic fairs throughout the year, carry a goodly stock of arcane tomes of mystic lore and even carry some lovely homegoods in the way of teapots and embroidered fabrics. (603) 226-0716.
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