In anticipation of the m7 Street Fair on Saturday, March 6, DPJ is spending the week getting to know the great businesses, neighborhoods and people that make the Melrose area so intriguing.

Heading to the Melrose Curve for the m7 Street Fair this Saturday? In addition to checking out the booths, take the opportunity to check out the locally owned businesses that are making this neighborhood one of the hottest in town. It seems like somebody forget to tell them that we’re in the middle of a recession, as the area has seen an explosion of new business open up the in the past several months. Here are seven to check out:

The Wagon Wheel Building is home to Blueberry Deluxe (right).

1. Go-Kat-Go
If you were a fan of their space on 7th Street, you’ll love their new location on the Melrose Curve. The new storefront is even bigger, allowing them to stock even more eclectic vintage and new furnishings, décor, gifts and clothing not found anywhere else. The focus is on the modern and kustom kulture styles of the ’50s through the ’70s with a bit of kooky-styled kitsch thrown in for fun.
4314 N. 7th Ave.
(602) 234.2528

2. Prosper Antique Mall
A little north of the Curve sits the newest addition to the growing Melrose “Antiques District.” Prosper Antique Mall features a variety of items, from vintage jewelry to mid-century furniture to outdoor accessories and everything in between. If you are looking for something particular, be sure to ask the staff. They are extremely friendly and helpful.
4955 N. 7th Ave
(602) 489.7357

3. America’s Taco Shop
The 7th Avenue location features the same great Mexican fare and amazing carne asada as the original place on the “other 7.” The rest of the menu features fresh and tasty Mexican favorites. Vegetarians should be sure to check out the bean and cheese burrito. They’ll have an expanded patio open during the Street Fair.
4447 N. 7th Ave.
(602) 515.0856

4. Blueberry Deluxe
Vintage clothing is making a comeback on 7th Avenue. In addition to the often overlooked collection at Retro Ranch, this brand new boutique offers a great choice of vintage clothing, shoes and accessories for women. It also offers screen-printed tees and other handmade art and home accessories by local designers. As well, I understand that they just ordered a bunch of ‘zines for the shop, but only one of each, so be sure to check it out quick!
702 W. Montecito Ave.
(602) 717.8376

5. Black Lantern Tattoo
This definitely not your grandfather’s tattoo parlor. It’s a peaceful and captivating refuge immediately north of the Curve (in the same strip as Paris Envy). This is an appointment-only shop, but feel free to stop by to meet the staff and learn more about them.
4636 N. 7th Ave.
(602) 710.5030

6. Phoenix Metro Retro
Another Central Phoenix stalwart that has relocated to the 7th Avenue strip. Under new ownership and in a new location, Phoenix Metro Retro continues to offer a great selection of vintage mid-century modern furniture and home accessories at affordable prices.
708 W. Hazelwood St.
(602) 279.0702

7. Two Hippies Breakfast Joint
This is the newest outpost of the Two Hippies empire. The Joint brings a much-needed breakfast option to the Curve. As with the other Hippie locations, be prepared to be whisked back to the psychedelic ’60s as you eat, surrounded by glow-in-the-dark posters and hippie memorabilia.
4306 N. 7th Ave.
(602) 274.0079