Travel

Detroit Shops

Establishment neighborhood
Nest
460 W. Canfield St., Midtown
Siblings and seventh-generation Detroiters, Andy and Emily Linn, opened this home goods boutique in 2011, in the Cass Corridor (next door to its sister store, City Bird). It’s since become a destination for unique home decor pieces and perfect, locally and artisanally made gifts, from candles and soap to terrariums, air plants, and cool kitchen accessories (mug, flasks, storage jars, wine glasses), all stocked general-store-style on wooden shelves. It’s the perfect place to pick up a gift for any occasion (especially a housewarming), though it's hard to leave without buying something for yourself.
Shinola
441 W. Canfield St., Midtown
The Shinola brand has largely become synonymous with the changing city of Detroit itself. As a company, Shinola has made Detroit its home: Their 30,000-square foot watch factory resides inside of Detroit's College for Creative Studies in the former GM Argonaut building, a symbol of the company's mission to bring jobs to the city, and bigger picture, to America. The flagship store, a large piece of the transformation of West Canfield Street in Midtown, has become a destination in and of itself. The store is a gorgeous, industrial showcase of Shinola's signature leather watches, as well as wallets, bags, and exceptionally handsome notebooks. Bicycles hang from exposed beams and the impeccable bike workshop (where every Shinola bicycle is custom assembled) is visible behind a long glass wall running the length of the store. Conveniently, there's also a café inside as well as a flower stand from Detroit's Made Floral, with irresistibly romantic bouquets. After your visit, keep walking along Canfield (toward 2nd Avenue), which turns into a cobblestone street—Detroit's first local historic district, with houses dating back to the 1870's, reflecting a mix of Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire,…
Peoples Records
1464 Gratiot Ave., Eastern Market
Next door to Trinosophes café is People's Records, one of the most notable record stores in the country. Run by longtime bassist and soul DJ, Brad Hales, Peoples specializes in soul (the collection of random, second-hand soul 45s here is extraordinary), but also carries rare jazz, R&B, and rock. Peoples has been around for more than a dozen years, surviving a fire, moving locations multiple times (they have a shop closer to Ferndale, too), meaning that Hales has amassed more than records in his time. The store is home to posters and old photographs, but he also opened a music archive museum attached to the other side of Trinosophes that draws from his deeper collection of artifacts and highlights musicians from Detroit's/Michigan's history. MAHS (Michigan Audio Heritage Society) can be thought of in juxtaposition to the Motown Museum—the exhibitions at MAHS bring to light less well known music contemporary to Motown, whereas at the Motown Museum you'll of course see some of the most commercially successful artists.
John K. King Used & Rare Books
901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Corktown
Housed in a former glove factory since the early 1980's—which explains the oversized hand painted sign across the building's exterior—John K. King Used & Rare Books shop is truly next level. Wandering the enormous, overflowing rows of shelves that wind from the first floor to the fourth is a dream-like experience for any book lover. And what's really crazy is that the mind-boggling number of books here (Mr. King, who began trading in 1965, has about a million books in stock, and this is by far his largest home for them) are entirely uncomputerized collections—meaning they are organized wholly by hand making it a wild treasure hunt. Trying to find a Sylvia Plath? The team knows just where to go in the poetry section, and what edition of which book was recently taken off the shelf by a reader who came before. The fiction section on the third floor alone merits days of exploration and many returned visits—the store's collection is ever shifting. The rarest of the titles are kept separately—those are actually searchable online, so you can have any special requests for books to be pulled ready in…