Wine, Women and Fashion: Kris Radish's Downtown Boutique

Wine and clothes? Don't mind if I do.

click to enlarge Kris Radish, successful women's author, wine purveyor and now, boutique owner. - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
Kris Radish, successful women's author, wine purveyor and now, boutique owner.

Kris Radish: Retired journalist, novelist, and purveyor of fine wines in downtown St. Pete is at it again. This time, she's moved up – to the second floor of the Plaza Tower Courtyard where her wine bar, Wine Madonna, lives. Upstairs, you won't find wine. What you will find is clothes. Specifically, women's clothes. 

This could be a new and appealing trend in St. Pete: Mixing wine with clothes. Really, who among us hasn't wanted a glass of wine (or two) after an afternoon of trying on swimsuits (it's just around the corner, guys)? Radish & Company Boutique offers an eclectic mix of happy clothes — linens and cottons in Florida colors — in urban warehouse turned chic. The painted concrete floors, make-your-own dressing rooms, and bits of books (Radish books, of course) flow into cheerful scarves and satisfying jewelry. Want a glass of wine? Bring it on up from Wine Madonna. It's all family up here in the Courtyard.

Here, the clothes and the accessories all play off one thing: Radish's success as a women's author. She and her partner, Madonna Metcalf, already run Wine Madonna, perhaps the best place in Tampa Bay to sit with a glass of good wine and ruminate on why you, like Radish, aren't a wildly successful author. The only nod to Radish's success in Wine Madonna? A pile of books shoved against one wall. In Radish & Company Boutique, the odd book wedged in against a scarf or piece of jewelry are a similar nod to Radish's success with the ladies.

click to enlarge Painted concrete floors meet chic in Radish & Company Boutique. - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
Painted concrete floors meet chic in Radish & Company Boutique.

So, OK, how does wine lead to clothes? Apparently Radish actually enjoys talking to her customers and she heard, over and over, women grouse about a paucity of decent boutiques that weren't ridiculously expensive. Instead of setting out to change the world, she just created her own, and thus, Radish & Company Boutique.

As I said, this could be a burgeoning trend. Maddy Guenther, the name behind Gulfport's iconic O'Maddy's, saw a similar void a few years ago and opened Bo-Tiki on Gulfport's Beach Boulevard. Bo-Tiki has a similar fashion-chic vibe, albeit a slightly more Gulfport-esque one than Radish.

Go into O'Maddy's and your receipt gets you a discount at the boutique. Like Radish, Guenther makes sure her customers – and the men who might be with them – have ready access to wine.

Clothes and wine and food? This could be the start of something good in the Burg. 

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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