What you missed over summer: Downtown edition


Sam Byrd

Baristo Leon pouring whole espresso beans, preparing to be ground July 20, 2022. Venture offers hot espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, as well as cold drinks like their cacao cold brew. Both drinks, along with others, are served at the chocolate lounge on the ground level floor.

Zoey Sigmon, Reporter

Downtown Boone has welcomed several new stores within the past few months bringing new flavors, goods and designs to those who visit.

Three new additions joined King Street, Boone’s hub for shops and restaurants. Practical Magic, a metaphysical store; Venture, a coffee and chocolate lounge; and a second Appalachian Nails & Co. location. 

All businesses are located close to campus, and each store offers the public and App State students many new things. 

Practical Magic, located between Alumni Hall and Common Good, opened its doors to the public in June, said employee Jacqueline Leblanc.

Assorted scented candles on display and for sale in Practical Magic on July 20, 2022. The Wilmington-based metaphysical supply store chain has crystals, herbs and other items to positively charge anyone’s living space. (Sam Byrd)

Created and managed by sisters Carly and Nellie McDonah, the business originated as an online store in 2016, later opening the first of its stores in Wilmington, North Carolina. Leblanc, a junior at App State, said while the Wilmington location is the business’s primary location, the recent opening of their store in Boone has been “exciting.”

Leblanc said the store offers metaphysical and spiritual goods, including stones, candles, herbs and crystals. 

“If you want to get into your spirituality, this is a cool place to start,” Leblanc said. “There’s a little bit of everything here for everybody.”

Leblanc also said the store harbors no expectations from its customers and does not “discriminate against any practices or preach any practices.”

The second of King Street’s newest additions is Venture, a coffee and chocolate lounge owned by Josiah Davis and his wife, Meredith, who also own another local espresso bar, Local Lion.

Located between Appalachian Sportswear and Highway Robbery, Davis said the upstairs portion of the shop, featuring a lounge in addition to the coffee and chocolate bar, opened to the public in June. Davis said the wine cellar in the lower portion of the shop opened to the public July 22 and the entire shop’s grand opening was Aug. 13. 

Davis said he hopes their store invites a different take on the stereotypical college bar, hoping for a “more elevated experience” where customers can partake and discover the world and various cultures through their products. Davis also said the exploration of various tastes and flavors is how the idea for the store name came about.

“Beyond the product, it’s a beautiful space,” Davis said. 

Davis said another store goal was to introduce college students to wine, calling it a “big world” full of “beautiful flavors.” Davis said he hopes students will come to learn and sample those things in their shop. 

Appalachian Nails & Co., originally located on Highway 105, has opened a second location on Howard Street. Lily Nguyen, an employee and part owner of the business, said the store opened May 2 and called the day “a day in the making of several months and a combined effort from our staff and family.” Nguyen said those who aided in the shop’s opening made efforts toward a “modern and comforting” approach to the shop’s design and other details throughout the shop.

Owned and operated by Nguyen’s mother and four sisters, including herself, Appalachian Nails offers “quality, comfort and care” to those who visit. Nguyen said the business aims for the best in personal care and hopes to build a “strong connection” with clients from their “compassion and reliability.” 

Nguyen said those working at the shop know Boone has been “flourishing with students” and said they would see many “new faces coming every fall.”

“We’d love to welcome you all by offering a 10% student discount on top of all your transactions,” Nguyen said.

Two of three stores, Practical Magic and Venture, are open to the public seven days a week, with hours subject to change for Venture, while Appalachian Nails & Co. is open six days a week. The hours of operation for Practical Magic are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily. The hours for Venture are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sundays. Appalachian Nails & Co.’s operation hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturdays, and closed Sundays.