Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coffey's Lock Shop -- old school store with knowledgable staff

Mendel Coffey didn't realize in 1958 when he opened his shop on 25th street in downtown Newport News that he was creating a local institution.  In 1959, he opened a second location in the Center Avenue Shopping Center, now its only location, on the corner of Warwick Blvd and Center Avenue.  Recently, I purchased a 1963 Mercury Comet which was missing a door key, and asked around for the best locksmith in the area to have one made.... Seven people recommended Coffey's.  The first thing I noticed when I can into the door was the amount of vintage keys they have in stock.  I even found original keys for the Comet.  I was so excited!  The service was a little slow, however the price was reasonable... $18 to have a key made for my door and $6 a the vintage Mercury blank.  I must agree that Coffey's is probably the best locksmith shop around!

Coffey's Lock Shop
9519 Warwick Blvd
Newport News, VA 23601
(757) 595-2411

Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 5PM
Saturday 9 AM - 1 PM

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ames Cleaners -- retro archetecture and great service

The Ames family started their cleaning business in Hampton in 1961.  From the beginning, it was known by locals for it's quality of service.  Ames was so successful that within 20 years they had expanded to two locations and a tuxedo rental.  I have been unable to find more information about the shop's history, and my message to the owners was not immediately returned.

Recently, I took my winter coat to the Mercury location be cleaned.  I found the service to still be exceptional and the employees to be very helpful.  The cost was reasonable and turnaround was very quick.  I was impressed and would recommend them to an employer.  Great place with cool retro look.

Ames Cleaners
554 E. Mercury Blvd
Hampton, VA 23663
(757) 722-4301
Monday-Friday 7 AM - 6 PM
Saturday 8 AM - 5 PM

Ames Cleaners*
900 LaSalle Ave
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 723-3331
Monday-Friday 7 AM - 6 PM
Saturday 8 AM - 5 PM

Ames Tuxedos**
10 Town Centre Way
Hampton, VA
(757) 825-3335
Monday-Friday 8 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 9 AM - 5 PM

*I would avoid this location.  I didn't feel comfortable in this area alone.

**I rented a tux from them about 10 years ago.  They had great service and products then, but I don't know anyone who has used them lately.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Arlo Guthrie -- Folk Legend -- Performing in town on 2/8-2/9

File:Arlo Guthrie 2007.jpg

Arlo Guthrie was born July 10, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York.  He has no connection to the area by birth, but is playing a concert at the American Theatre in Phoebus (Hampton) next Wednesday and Thursday night.  Son of famous folk singer Woody Guthrie, Arlo had several hits of his own during the 60s-70s anti-Vietnam war era.  Sadly, this great musician's work isn't played much in Hampton Roads, with the exception of Guthrie's most famous song, the 18+ minute "Alice's Restaurant," being played at yearly at noon on Thanksgiving day on 106.9 The Fox.  His other hits include, "Coming into Los Angeles," "The Motorcycle Song," and my personal favorite, "City of New Orleans,"   He is a great artist, and one of the few of his era still performing on a regular basis.  If you are interested, ticket prices range from $14 to $33 and can be purchased here.

Here he is singing my personal favorite of his: "The City of New Orleans"

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia and video courtesy of Youtube