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Published March 17, 2009

Say Cheese
Cafe/Tattoo Parlor/General Store on Bond St

Focus is boring.

On the other hand, cocktail dens that employ tailors, art galleries that double as playpens and shops that hawk motorcycles and workwear are the types of tiny department stores that pique your interest.

So allow us to bring you a first look at The Smile, a brand-new general store, cafe and tattoo parlor opening up under-the-radar (and down a few stairs) on Bond Street tomorrow.

Curated by former Earnest Sewn guru Carlos Quirarte and his partner Matt Kliegman, The Smile is sort of like an old-timey country general store, except modern and perfectly suited for the city. Set in an 1831 building with a history of multi-tasking (the previous tenant was that classic combination, antique store/massage parlor), the cafe/shop is just how you'd picture it: old wood everywhere, Edison bulbs and plenty of exposed brick.

They've focused on partnering with local purveyors, brands and artists they love. That means your cheese plate is from Murray's, your blueberry ice cream is from Ronnybrook, your "mom" tattoo is from the legendary Scott Campbell (this is his first non-Brooklyn outpost), and your knickknacks and gear are from all manner of boutique-y producers (Santa Maria Novella scents, Mariage Frères teas, Wool and the Gang knitting needles).

Best of all, they're carving out an American-made wall to sell White's custom boots (they actually trace your foot in-store), Moscot glasses and Field Notes notebooks.

Just in case you need to draw your next tattoo.
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Photo by: Ian Ference