If you’re looking for an upscale bar, head to The Fenix. With their craft beers, unique cocktails, specialty martinis, and fine wine, as well as a tappas food menu that is hard to come by, The Fenix Bar is one of Phoenixville’s premier locations for a night out. Ryan Norris, General Manager, is enthusiastic about his bar. He says, “Our atmosphere is the most unique in town – you just can’t find another spot like it. Also, our menu has its own unique style to it that you can’t find anywhere else.” He says his favorite drinks are, “Bulleit Rye Whiskey Old Fashion and Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Martini,” which is “homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cup flavored vodka, Godiva Dark, Cremem De Cacao, and a little bit of Half and Half with Chocolate syrup on the glass.”
But even more than his unique menu, Norris loves his patrons. “We offer what people want. Everyday we pretend we are the customer – we are all the same, and want to make sure we get you what we are looking for. The community in this town is unbelievably powerful, and we want to hold it together each and every day.” He says, “I love this town. I strive to do my part, and I always feel I could never do enough to show how much I appreciate this town. We host the Burning of The Phoenix pre and after party, and I love taking part in events like the Food Festivals, Restaurant Week, First Fridays, Jazz Festival, and Blob Fest.”
At the end of the day, it’s the people Norris has found in Phoenixville – his coworkers, customers, and friends – who make life so fun at The Fenix Bar.
When Joan Moore and Keely Wrigley first started LuLu, it was a resale shop. “After a year of attending wedding after wedding, we had a bunch of dresses in our closets that we knew we would never wear again (How could we? They were all tagged on social media!). We thought that a lot of girls were in the same boat, so we started as a resale shop. We added some vintage clothing to our inventory, and threw in items that we made ourselves for good measure. And that was the recipe for LuLu.” Now, the ladies describe LuLu Boutique & Gifterie as full of vintage and modern clothing, accessories, and a little bit of kitsch.
Moore and Wrigley take pride in their varied and well-loved collection: “Our favorite item to sell is the one that we’ve grown strangely attached to. We don’t know how, but we can love a hat or a pair of earrings as if it were our own child. We are over the moon when a customer appreciates that item’s beauty as well. Then when it is purchased, we feel bittersweet–like our child is going off to college. It makes us so happy when customers find something they love in our shop. It makes us elated when we see our LuLu ladies wearing those finds around town.”
“We can outfit you for any occasion,” they say, “a decade party from the 1920s until today, your wedding or your prom. But you will also find two owners who make you feel like an old friend, will chit chat you up, and may even give you relationship advice (free of charge).”
LuLu extends its friendliness beyond the doors of its store with its focus on giving back to the community. “When we opened our business in Phoenixville, we opened our doors to the community. We ask for their support everyday, so it only seems fitting to offer our support to fundraisers, charities, and community events.
“This overwhelming sense of community gave rise to A Whole Lot of LuLu, our biannual vintage and handmade flea market. It brings people together to shop, talk, engage, or just be entertained. It is a reason to show off our town and feel the overwhelming sense of our supportive community.”
Moore and Wrigley say they started their business with a dream, a friendship, and a town they love. Now, four years later, they’ve grown into an always changing, always charming boutique that you can only find in Phoenixville.
Veronica Semon moved to Phoenixville almost five years ago to open Mod House Vintage, which specializes in mid-century modern and vintage decor with a focus on Danish and American furniture produced from the 1950’s until the 1960’s. She says of her inventory, “Everything we sell is unique in its own right. Most of the pieces are hard to find or custom upholstered. I especially love selling mid century modern chairs! I think you can tell a lot about a person by the type of chair they chose to buy!”
Semon says she came here for the active downtown, but she stayed because of the friends she made and the business roots she laid down here. “The support I feel from the town and customers really help to motivate me and strive to grow my business. In a way, it almost feels like I’ve got a town counting on me to be successful.”
Truly, it’s her customers that inspire her. She says, “I’ve always loved the things that I sell, the customers are what makes me love selling them.” Simon keeps her focus on the customers by finding fun and engaging ways to involve the community in her events. She recently held a Mad Men Party, which was free to attend and open to everyone. She plans to continue these customer appreciation events in coming years to continue to give back to the supportive community she found in Phoenixville.