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William Cross Wine Merchants

Atelier des Modistes: Seek out this boutique for custom-made and ready-to-wear evening and bridal gowns. Suzanne Hanley's designs incorporate rich silks and satins and are adorned with detailing such as vintage trim, satin flowers, beading and gemstones. The studio also spotlights jewelry by local artists as well as sculpture and photography by co-proprietor Christopher Farris.

Brownie's Hardware: Owned and run by the same local family for more than 30 years, Brownie's has a small-town feel and offers one-on-one help on DIY projects. Walk in with any question and you'll walk out with a thorough yet manageable answer.

Cole Hardware: SF's favorite hardware store chain opened this fourth location with the blessing of Brownies Hardware in 2003. The community-minded business offers assistance programs to schools and nonprofits, as well as all kinds of recycling services to the public. Check the Web site for tons of DIY advice.

Cris: An elegant resale shop specializing in glamorous clothes in impeccable condition from designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Tocca and Prada.

Jug Shop: More than a liquor store, this spirit, microbrew and wine mecca is staffed by the most knowledgeable sommeliers and mixologists in town. If they can't answer your question, they'll call someone who can. For last-minute dinner-party or picnic needs, it's conveniently located across the street from Leonard's 2001 Cheese Shop.

La Tulipe Noire: Visiting this store is like stumbling upon an estate sale in the French countryside. The shop is crammed with French antiques and oddities: for the kitchen you'll find enameled cookware and china canisters, and there are plenty of paintings, chandeliers and decorative items to add a touch of charm to the rest of the house.

Cheese Plus: In this spacious shop,there is a great selection of imported cheeses (at low prices, for the world of expensive cheese), as well as expert advice on available varieties and current specials. Also on hand are specialty dips, pastas, condiments and snacks

Lombardi's Sports: Two-story palace of sporting goods to outfit all activities, seasons and styles.

Molte Cose: The name of this three-room shop means "many things," and among its wares is a wide range of charming home adornments, clothes and accessories. Look for cornflower juice glasses, small oil still life paintings, French soaps and carefully selected vintage clothing. The second room features contemporary sweaters and shirts for men, as well as luxury desk accessories, barware and other manly gifts. Belle Cose, the lingerie portion of the shop, carries lacy under things by labels such as Cosabella and Only Hearts, as well as pretty little dresses in romantic prints.

Naomi's: Fans of midcentury pottery flock to Naomi's to gaze at his collection of Starburst and Oasis Franciscan dinnerware. The prices are steep, considering you could find some of these pieces at yard sales in Amarillo, but then again, you're probably not going to Amarillo anytime soon.

Nest: Sister store to the Fillmore St. branch, this Nest is feathered with a more limited yet equally sumptuous selection of European-influenced house wares and gifts. Find items such as silhouette portrait pillows, rustic white-glazed pottery, bed linens in vibrant hues and embroidered satin slippers. 2340

One Half: With everything typically half off the original price at this home accessories and gift shop, One Half offers those whose apartments have become overwhelmed with Ikea a golden opportunity to diversify their décor. Look for rugs, artwork, throw pillows and baskets, as well as candles, body products, journals and frames. The store closes each July, prior to which the owners clear out the inventory by cutting prices in half again, bringing the discount up to 75%.

Nest: This bright and sparkly little shop is laden with whimsical yet elegant gifts, housewares, stationery and vintage treasures. On one visit the trove included embroidered pillows representing various US states, 1950s grammar school posters of animals, a selection of hotel silver, pink-and-green maps of Paris and letterpress note cards on lusciously heavy cardstock.

Retro City Resale: Vintage-clothing store stocks lots of pillbox hats, Hawaiian shirts and tight brown leather jackets.

Russian Hill Antiques: New, handmade jewelry, antique furniture and home accessories

Russian Hill Bookstore: A used bookstore with stand-out selections of photography, architecture, children's and vintage transportation books.

Smoke Signals: News hounds and expatriates will find the current Le Monde, Time Out London and everything else they need at this international newsstand, including a comprehensive selection of American newspapers and journals. It also sells cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco-related goods.

William Cross Wine Merchants: Weekly wine-tasting events lend a social, festive atmosphere and attract locals to this purveyor of boutique wines from around the world.

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