I loved this store when I was a kid, but it's a bit disappointing nowadays. If you are looking for newspapers from out of the area, they DO have a good selection of daily papers (and I prefer the physical papers to their virtual embodiments) and their magazine selection is also pretty good. However, their book selection is disappointing, as are their cards and gifts. It is one of the few places downtown to grab a snack and a bottle of soda or water, but otherwise there isn't much to recommend it.
Glenn's has a great selection of sporting goods, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. If you're trying to find new sports shoes and want to have them fit the old-fashioned way, this is definitely the place to shop. I've also found that they provide excellent service when you are trying to fit and purchase necessary protective gear for yourself or your children. The gear and clothing are top notch, so the prices are a bit high as well. They have a great selection of Marshall gear, though, and good deals during their sidewalk sales.
Sarka Kauffman is, without question, the best jewelry store in town. They create their own designs in both sterling silver and fine gold, and offer a huge variety of other items. The service is incredible, the designs are tailored to your needs, and the prices are reasonable considering all the expertise involved. If you have something to be repaired, they are happy to give you a quote, and their work is excellent. Quite frankly, this is the sort of quality, handmade stuff that you might hope to find in Manhattan - but of course, you wouldn't be able to afford it there. And if your budget is tight, they have sterling designs and some fun Marshall pieces, all of which are quite reasonable. Parking is perfectly adequate, all things considered. Even if you aren't buying, it's a fun place to browse. I always look forward to walking past their display windows, which change each month. Such a treat!
If I'm looking for a unique floral arrangement, I start here. The plant quality is usually quite good, and, moreover, if you give the designers free reign, they will usually come up with something interesting and unusual. The prices are competitive, but I think that the designs are a step above other local florists. Parking at their store in Central City can be a headache if you pop by at peak hours, though, so keep that in mind!
Spirits, Etc. has a great, fun wine selection and is quite convenient if you live in Barboursville or are heading back to town from the mall, but it's a bit out of the way if you live in Huntington itself. The liquor selection is perfectly adequate, but not as extensive as the wine selection. Spirits, Etc. is also carries some good microbrewed beer from the Great Lakes Brewing Company, but beyond the Great Lakes varieties and the usual Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada and Saranac, there don't have a big selection of new and interesting beers.
Since they're in a strip mall, parking is ridiculously convenient, and the staff is usually quite friendly.
La Fontaines has a good selection of wine and a great selection of specialty tobacco products, such as cigars, clove cigarettes, and other specialty cigarettes if you are searching for such things. Parking is okay, unless some big event is happening at the Keith Albee, and the store is convenient to most of downtown.
El Haijj is absolute luxury embodied. If you want to feel like a movie star but live in West Virginia and don't want to leave town, you can get your kicks here. El Hajj is expensive, don't think otherwise, but a day or 1/2 day of pampering and rejuvenation is probably worth the steep price. Parking is really convenient, too. Hey - you wouldn't want to be hassled about parking when you're off to the spa, would you? On the other hand, I wasn't as impressed with the creativity of the hair stylists, although I was perfectly happy with their competence. If money is no object, El Haijj is the place to spend an afternoon.
Now Hear This has a combination of new and used CDs, with some used cassette tapes hanging around for flavor. The selection of used CDs constantly varies, so it's fun to check in a browse pretty regularly. The CDs are almost always in good shape - I've never purchased anything unplayable from this great little store. Now Hear This also supports local artists, especially hip-hop artists, so if you are looking for something new and interesting, it's a great place to stop. They have a smaller selection of new CDs, usually just the top 20 and other new releases in genres that appeal to their clientele - hip-hop and alternative, generally, and for new CDs, the prices are higher than the prices at chain stores. Parking is really convenient, though, and bargains can always been found among the used CDs. This is a great store, and highly recommended!
Empire Books has the biggest magazine in the state, and probably in the Ohio Valley. If you have a hobby or interest, they have a specialty magazine for you - which means that there really is something for everyone. Their book selection isn't quite as extensive as their magazine selection, but they have plenty of sections to browse and an ongoing library sale with hardbacks of popular novels returned by libraries after the initial rush of interest, which is an economical way to beef up your book collection. Village Roaster coffee is available in store, and they have a nice variety of activities to boot. The downtown location is sooooooo convenient, and parking is okay. The parking buildings are convenient and the prices are reasonable, but I prefer to find a place on the street. Overall, Empire Books is a great local asset and a wonderful place to browse.
PROS: Location, magazine selection, interesting events, friendly staff
Town House Kennels is really convenient if you live or work in Huntington, and the staff is always friendly. I think that the rates are competitive with other local kennels, although (as most of us know) boarding animals for an extended period can get pricey. They are always very quick - usually you are in and out in a jiffy - and are happy to show you their facilities if you want to see them. I've never taken advantage of their grooming services, so I can't review those. I love that they have a few hours for Saturday and Sunday pet pickups, and they are usually able to accommodate you, even if you have to head out of town pretty suddenly. Parking is just okay. There is a church lot next door and a Blockbuster lot on the other side, but if you are carrying your pets in a pet carrier, you may have to walk farther than you would like. It's still not far, but better parking would be nice. Overall, though, a super place. Highly recommended!
PROS: Location, friendly staff, competitive rates