New Levis Commons establishments escape ordinaryWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town Center at Levis Commons’ newest stores and restaurants offer a unique product and food selection that gives Northwest Ohio an opportunity to escape the ordinary.
The toy store Love and Learn opened its second location Nov. 17 at The Town Center with an unique variety of merchandise.
Co-owner Sharla Holsapple, said she wanted to create a “relaxing, nice toy shopping experience” while offering toys unavailable elsewhere in the area.
Holsapple said she started her business with a small toy cart before opening her first Love and Learn store in Lima more than two years ago.
One of Holsapple’s favorite toy lines carried at Love and Learn is Haba, a German line that has solid wood items, moveable parts, a dowel and block set, and baby swings, she said.
Another collection the store carries, Breyer, has specialized in collectible horses since the 1950s.
“I’d rather have my grandchildren playing with toy horses than on the computer,” Holsapple said.
Love and Learn features toys that stimulate mental development such as word and sentence games, a Math Mat Challenge Game, which allows children to bounce on a pad to solve math problems, science items, career-related toys and dress-up clothes.
Levis Commons recently brought in the corporate retailer Stride Rite, a children’s shoe store that offers a wide selection of styles for newborns and children through size 6.
Stride Rite specializes in foot studies when designing shoes, store manager Heidi Stevens said.
Children under 2 do not have a developed foot arch, Stevens explained. To allow a child’s foot arch to develop on its own, Stride Rite’s shoes for children 2 and younger do not have an arch built into the shoes’ soles, she said.
Stride Rite’s SuperBall shoes, which have SuperBalls built into their soles for added bounce and seamless socks, Stevens said, have become popular because children find them more comfortable.
Poco Piatti, Levis Commons’ newest restaurant, offers appetizer-sized selections featuring flavors from Greece, Italy, Spain and the Middle East.
Part of the Beirut family of restaurants, Poco Piatti opened its second location Nov. 17.
When compared to its other location at 5333 Monroe St., owner Elias Hajjar said the Levis Commons location offers a “little more Lebanese food and larger portions with a few dishes that work well here.”
Hajjar, who previously was under his father’s wing in the family’s restaurant business, wanted to open his own restaurant in Perrysburg to “bring Lebanese food south of the [Maumee] River.”
Hajjar said signature dishes at his restaurant are lamb chops in a balsamic and garlic sauce and sautéed shrimp with garlic and Asti Spumante.
“We prepare shrimp really well,” Hajjar said. “That’s what defines us.”
For an Asian flare, Levis Commons brought in Bistro Wasabi, an Asian bistro and sushi bar that serves Asian and French cuisine. Bistro Wasabi offers a complete sushi bar and, according to a news release, Ohio’s first sake lounge.
To ensure freshness and quality, operator Michael Song said he will not serve anything that has been frozen.
Bistro Wasabi’s menu items are “fresh, made by hand and not packaged so food preparation time takes a little longer” than at other restaurants, Song said.
Song said he attempts to develop trust with first-time sushi eaters. He starts them off with seared tuna before serving selections, he said.
One of Levis Commons’ more recent restaurant additions, the Bluepoint Fish Club, infuses the “Chicago big-city flare” with fresh fish, seafood, steaks and handcrafted drinks including Cuban-style “Mojitos,” general manager Ted Siravo said.
With 72 wines to choose from and a large bar that can seat up to 40 people, customers can “feel like they’re having a party here,” Siravo said.
Although Bluepoint Fish Club is a chain restaurant, executive chef Matt Sofo has the flexibility on weekends to come up with his own specials, Siravo said.
“It gives guests the opportunity to get something that’s not offered on the menu,” he said.
Sofo said their signature dish is balsamic-glazed halibut with sautéed artichokes and capers.
Customers can also expect an “island flare” with their food, he said.