Monday, March 13, 2017

Sip and Stroll at the Montrose Spring Wine Walk

Imagine walking along Honolulu Avenue, a glass of wine in hand, taking the air in on a cool spring evening, stopping into the local shops to peruse their selections – and refill your glass. This is the exact scenario of a wine walk. And next Saturday, March 18, the merchants of the Montrose Shopping Park are hosting the first annual Montrose Wine Walk, inviting guests from the community and Southern California at-large to come and take a sip and a stroll.

Dale Dawson, event coordinator for the Montrose Shopping Park Association, explains how the event came into being here in Montrose.
“Well, I got jealous. As the event coordinator, we were on a bus trip [for research for the Montrose Vision 2020 plan], and we toured some towns. The first town we hit was Claremont as an example for us to see,” Dawson said. “Claremont has been doing, in fact I think they originated it up here, a wine walk for like 19 years. So I picked the brain of the guy who led the tour over there and asked him to put me in touch with somebody that [could] help [us host one].”
This curiosity evolved into a full-fledged wine walk event that will see guests flood the sidewalks of the town, going into a minimum of 31 retail shops that have signed up as pouring locations. Unlike most events in Montrose, including the Kids ‘n’ Kritters, Oktoberfest and Montrose Brewfest events, the streets will not be closed.
“So many towns do [a wine walk] successfully. I know Ventura has a large one out there, lots of places [host] them and we are one of the few that hasn’t. I don’t know what we were doing, we were asleep at the switch,” Dawson said. “So we’re catching up. This is our first annual coming up, and it’s exciting because it’s a sophisticated kind of an event. It gets people to go inside the stores, and that’s where they’re going to taste. It’s a ‘come and meet our businesses’ event.’”
Tickets are $45 and are available at, at many locations in the Shopping Park and at the Sunday Harvest Market. And the co-sponsor organization, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, will receive a donation of 15% of the ticket sales.
Ticket holders will receive 15 tickets, each good for a 1 oz. pour at any of the tasting locations, as well as a Montrose Shopping Park logo wineglass and $10 in Montrose scrip, which is accepted at most of the stores in the Montrose Shopping Park. During the event, live bands will line the avenue and each of the stores has chosen its own selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres, so a variety of flavors will abound.

“[Merchants are] really getting creative with what they’re choosing,” Dawson said.
He also suggested that, after an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres and shopping, any of the numerous restaurants in Montrose are a great way to finish the evening.
One caveat about this year’s event is that it has never been done before. Though the wine walk planners have done everything they can to make it run smoothly there is always room for an unforeseen hiccup.
“Let me put it this way – we don’t know how this one’s going to go because we have no track record, we have no history and we have no following, per se,” Dawson said, “but I’m thinking this is going to be really a lot of fun. It’s going to build to the point where it might actually create some funds for us, but at this point we’re looking at it as a wash.”
The event will be held on Saturday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. along Honolulu Avenue in the Montrose Shopping Park. For more information, online tickets and a list of shops in Montrose selling physical tickets, visit

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Who Are You Calling Oenophile?

Oenophile: A Lover or Connoisseur of Wines

We’ll find out who the local oenophiles are come Saturday, March 18 when from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Montrose Shopping Park will host an evening of wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres at our first annual Montrose Spring Wine Walk.

We are now up to 31 Shopping Park businesses ready to pour 1-oz. tastings of their wine selections for you. Go to our website at to purchase your $45 ticket online by credit card, or to view a list of available in-store ticket sales. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales is being donated to our co-sponsor, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club.
Every Wine Walker receives 15 wine tasting tickets, a Wine Walk map, the “I Shop Montrose First” tote bag and a Montrose logo wine glass!  But wait – there’s more!
We will also give every ticket holder a $10 bill in MSP scrip that can be used to purchase goods and services at businesses throughout the Montrose Shopping Park.  Now your $45 ticket is costing you only $35! Come on, all you oenophiles … we’re ready for you.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Life Is a Cabernet!

No, that’s not a misspelling – on Saturday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Montrose Shopping Park will show you how life can be a cabernet, or a merlot, or a sauvignon blanc! We will be hosting an evening of wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres munching at our first annual Spring Wine Walk.

Twenty-five Shopping Park businesses will be pouring 1-oz. tastings of their wine selections for you. Go to our website at to purchase your $45 ticket online by credit card or to view a list of available in-store ticket sales.  A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales is being donated to our co-sponsor, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club.
Every “wine walker” receives 15 wine tasting tickets, a Wine Walk map and a Montrose logo wine glass! Ever wish you had a souvenir of your beloved Montrose? Here’s your opportunity!
Now meet two more of your Wine Walk host businesses and what you can expect to see while you are sipping and noshing away.
Critters, since 1983, has been that one-of-a-kind place for novelty gifts and fun! They offer bestselling products from Hello Kitty to Grumpy Cat, plus a wide variety of greeting cards and specialty toys. Owner Ani has some new things coming, too! Pictured here with her own handcrafted line of jewelry, Ani is making plans to create art and craft classes for kids, as well as stocking in unique offerings from local artisans. Come meet Ani at 2277 Honolulu Ave., or call her at (818) 249-3777.

From cozy Bearpaws and UGGS to “Damm Daniel” White Vans, Nike, Converse and every sports shoe in between, Shoe Fantasy has great shoes for the entire family. Great selections, great prices, great service! Ask for Lily at 3701 Ocean View Blvd., or call (818) 249-4392.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Taste The Wines, Hear The Bands!

To borrow a line from the musical “Cabaret,” the Montrose Shopping Park invites you to come to our version of cabaret: an evening of wine sampling and hors d’oeuvres munching at our first annual Spring Wine Walk on Saturday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., co-sponsored by the La Crescenta Woman’s Club. If you’ve never experienced a Wine Walk event, well neither have we! But here we go…
Twenty-five businesses have signed up to pour samples of their own wine selections for you, but you must purchase a ticket to enjoy this door-to-door soirée. Go to our website at to purchase your $45 ticket online by credit card, or to view a list of available in-store ticket sales. Here are just a few of your Wine Walk host businesses and what you can expect to see while you are sipping and noshing away.

Family-owned and operated for four generations, Aladdin Rugs has been a Montrose staple for decades. In addition to their extraordinary rugs and fine art from around the world, Aladdin also cleans, repairs and restores.  Get a taste of Aladdin’s wines at 2237 Honolulu Ave., or call (818) 248-7844.

Owner Cindy Redden started Twigs & Things back in 1997. Specialties include Yankee candles and candle accessories and a vast assortment of dried flowers, flags and cute ceramics all changing with the seasons. This is a fun store to browse for all those special little things that make your home cozy and smelling nice.  Meet Cindy at 2266 Honolulu Ave., or call (818) 957-7074.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

1st Annual Montrose Spring Wine Walk

Join us for the first annual Montrose Spring Wine Walk on Saturday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. We’re planning on a great event and we need you to make it even better. Merchants throughout town will open their doors inviting you in for their favorite wine and hors de oeuvres.

Studies show that wine is good for you for the social aspects and the physical benefits to your well-being. Different wines have different characteristics and our merchants are excited to have you taste their favorites. We have 24 Shopping Park businesses hosting wine tastings!  You can view the list on our web site … just click on the Wine Walk page.

Are you a wine connoisseur, aka, an oenophile? If you are, share your knowledge. Perhaps we’ll learn from each other. In any case, this will be a great opportunity to get together with your friends in the community. We invite you to come enjoy a fun night on the town!

You can purchase your tickets online today at using our PayPal link. Or visit one of these businesses to secure your evening passes: Casa Córdoba, Copy Network, Grayson’s Tune Town, It Takes A Village, Mountain Rose Gifts – or at our Sunday Harvest Market information booth. With each Wine Walk ticket purchased you’ll receive tickets good for 15 pours, a complimentary logo wineglass and $10 Montrose scrip to spend in town anytime at our participating shops and restaurants. So come join us! Tickets are selling quickly.

Rain or shine there is always a Sunday Market! This week our Market features cold pressed “fruit” juice, baby mixed greens and fresh brown or white eggs. And while shopping, enjoy the unique sounds of ukulele music by the Honolulu Avenue Strummers. It’s Sunday in Montrose where you will find many of our quaint shops and specialty restaurants open during Market hours.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Will You Be My Valentine?

Love is in the air in the Montrose Shopping Park. Cupid’s arrow has struck our town, inviting you to come and enjoy the Valentine’s spirit. Many of our merchants are adorning their shops with hues of pink and red, offering you Valentine’s specials that can’t be beat.

Valentine's Cards at Once Upon A Time and Critters
Let’s start with the essentials: Valentine’s cards. Both Critters and Once Upon A Time Bookstore offer items for kids and adults. In addition to cards, Critters has cute little “love dove” note holders, encouraging you to leave sweet messages around the house.

"Love Dove" Note Holders

Complete those Valentine’s cards with chocolates from Lara’s Gifts or nostalgic candy from The Montrose Candy Company.

Enjoy nostalgic candy from Montrose Candy Company
Invite the Valentine’s spirit into your home with décor from Mountain Rose Gifts or romantic candles from Twigs & Things. If you’re interested in picking up at lifelong skill set, dance lessons with Arthur Murray Dance Studio. On Valentine’s Day, Arthur Murray is offering a free dance class to the community beginning 7PM at 2260 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose, CA 91020.

Arthur Murray Gift Certificates Svailable
If you’re looking for something more fancy, shop the Montrose Jewelry District. Ice your partners out with pendants, bracelets, necklaces, watches, earrings and anything your heart desires. There's plenty
of quality options and always something good on sale. 

Still need to book your dinner reservations? Do it at one of our acclaimed Montrose restaurants. Visit to find the perfect place for you and your sweetheart.

Stop by this week at our Sunday Market where we will feature incredible Novin saffron, green garlic, and Chirimoya fruit.  And while shopping, listen to the soothing sounds of guitarist Mark Achuff.  Also, many of our Montrose shops and restaurants are open for your shopping and dining enjoyment. Montrose is the place to be on Sunday!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Romancing in Montrose’s Trendy Restaurant Scene

February 14 falls on a Tuesday this year, however, the restaurants in Montrose are ready for you beginning that weekend. The Montrose restaurant scene offers three blocks of family-owned trendy and ethnic choices. We’ve highlighted some, and there are many others.

Your journey begins for breakfast. Picture a romantic street in Paris and stop at Gio’s Baguettes and More. Owner/Operator Az, prepares a Lilli latte to enjoy with your freshly baked croissant or an indulgent French pastry. Seeking a hearty beautifully-plated breakfast?  Black Cow delivers.

For lunch consider Mexican at historic El Charro or family friendly Pepe’s. In the mood for sushi? Blue Fish or Sushi Manstar. Pizza, think Giuseppi’s or Big Mamas & Papas. Bar-B-Que?  Seeking a relaxed, lingering lunch, visit Rest Farmhouse Inspired or The Tea Room for specialty salads and sandwiches. You can check out the gifts offered at both of these venues.

Make reservations early for your Valentine’s romantic dinner. Off Ocean View, be greeted by Fausto of Trattoria Allegria or go to Portobellos or Star Café for fine Italian cuisine. Feeling New American, Jim Collins’ Town Kitchen and Grill or Armen’s Benitoite. Think Spain at Casa Córdoba, Mexico at Corey’s beloved Joselitos, Cajun seafood at Cracking Crab.

Chef, Fausto Tinelli of Trattoria Allegria

Don’t forget romantic desserts. Head to Paradis for their hand-crafted ice cream or Froyolife for a yogurt sundae.  Top off the evening with a romantic glass of wine, craft beer or a cocktail at the Wine Cave, Thee Elbow Room or Basin 141.

Drinks at Basin 141 
After lunch on Saturday meet our Charlie Chaplin on the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View. Sweethearts receive your complimentary rose from 1-5pm, and please take a photo.

Sunday January 29th, a special at the Harvest Market:  explore the innovative Toyota Mirai, a zero emissions fuel cell vehicle. Bring the whole family to pot your own free mini succulent and engage in a virtual reality experience exploring the Mirai’s hydrogen fuel cell technology.  This week our Market features the country/western sounds of guitarist Eli Locke, fresh grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and the absolute last opportunity for delicious grapes!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feel Good in Montrose

New Year/New You with Crossfit Crescenta Valley

Continuing our campaign to look and feel great in Montrose, we’re featuring Crossfit Crescenta Valley aka CF-CV. 
CF-CV was opened in 2011 by Vaz Deravanesian. At a young age, Vaz recognized the importance of diet and exercise sharing that, “Genetically, I’m not very gifted. Both of my parents had open heart surgery. It was their heart complications that motivated me to stay healthy throughout my life.”

Owner Vaz Deravanesian

In fact, Vaz’s whole life has been dedicated to sports, personal training, and coaching. At a young age, Vaz rigorously trained as a gymnast. He then became active in sports (mainly soccer), and right after high school, he became a personal trainer. In 2011, the doors of CF-CV were opened with a mission to, “continue the path of helping people understand how to stay healthy and active even with the busy lifestyles we have.”

We had the privilege of joining the Wednesday night class at CF-CV and were inspired, to say the least. Everyone is friendly and there’s a real sense of community here. The trainers are professional and there’s plenty of fun equipment to get in shape. We spoke with longtime CF-CV member Jenna Olson, and were impressed to learn that she lives in San Diego, yet faithfully attends the Wednesday night class. "I've been coming since it opened." She says, "and will keep coming. It's that good."

Trainer Rocky Barbara, Rubina Vartanian, Jenna Olson

For anyone interested, Vaz recommends coming in and starting simple with a 20-minute workout once a week. They offer a boot camp that focuses on building a foundation through stretching and enhancing your posture, then delving into one of the classes. For more information, visit or drop by Crossfit Crescenta Valley in person at 2234 Honolulu Avenue.

If you workout in Montrose, use the #shopmontrose and #feelgood #montrose for a chance to be featured!