I live in the SouthPark area and work uptown. You would think that if I needed anything, I could access it in the plethora of retail around SouthPark Mall, Philips Place, or in a myriad of centers on my way to and from uptown. Maybe.

But, my go-to place for nearly everything is Colony Place Shopping Center – a small slice of retail heaven found just south of the SouthPark area at the corner of Colony and Rea roads.

I can drive, ride a bike, or walk there. (Of course, I drive 99.9% of the time).

My top 3 reasons to make this short trip several times a week:

(1) Food

If you are hungry, Colony Place has several options:

(a) First, there is the ever-popular Brooklyn Pizza Parlor. Pizzas, heroes, calzones, and salads, to name a few. You can dine inside, out on the patio, or pick up some take out to watch a movie at home. Get there early on a Friday night.

Brooklyn

My favorite: the Brooklyn Sicilian. It is the bomb. The sauce is on top of the cheese. Yes, I thought the same thing … until I tried it.

(b) The Lodge: A Sportsman’s Grill is a friendly, neighborhood restaurant/bar (also with patio seating) and serves just about everything you can think to eat. If you can’t find something you like on the menu, you are not human.

My favorite: the shrimp and hot pepper cheese quesadilla with house made pico de gallo. Simple but exquisite. The bar serves many local brews on draught and rotates the selection often. Oh, and did I mention live music on the weekends?

(c) Finish it all off with a trip to TCBY for some frozen yogurt. I find it so hard to choose between the toppings. So, I usually just pile it all on.

TCBY

Also among your choices, La Maria Bonita (Mexican) and Jade Dragon (Chinese). Subway is available for something quick. Dunkin Donuts is there for, well, just about any time (donuts aren’t just for breakfast).

(2) Walgreen’s

Walgreens

This is the ONLY Walgreen’s that I go to in the Queen City. I am not exaggerating. They are never out of stock of anything. The staff is the most courteous and helpful of any retail store in the city. The pharmacy turns around prescriptions and refills faster than my Orioles’ slide out of playoff contention in August.

It doesn’t hurt that they make it very easy for me to add a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup to the purchase as I check out.

(3) UPS Store

UPS Store

OK, this one seems crazy but I am in this UPS Store so regularly that I don’t have to give them my phone number to look me up.

When you have children away at college (remember care packages?) and a wife who loves shopping online (lots of returns), this type of service is essential. These guys are efficient and save me lots of time. They even tape the boxes for me.

This place is definitely a hidden treasure. Just don’t tell anyone.

Photos: Greg Kurts


Greg KurtsGregory Kurts works with Wells Fargo Securities. He is an avid reader,  banjo  player and Bob Dylan fan. Follow him on Twitter at@Pope662.

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