Just north of downtown, follow the back roads past establishments with names like Southern Mop and Broom to find what looks like an abandoned meatpacking plant (that’s what it was!) with the name “Peter Nappi” in stylish wrought-iron script above the door. Inside is a soaring space with the regulation exposed brick walls and concrete floors, plus shelves of leather boots, shoes and bags. The town’s well-heeled musical artists have fallen for Peter Nappi’s old-world-style lace-up boots (around $700 a pair). The footwear is all handmade in Italy, but custom-distressed here in the shop—which is an über-cool space just to hang out in, facilitated by the small stage where musicians perform several times a week.
In and around Germantown are many other spots worth a stop. Marathon Village, once a redbrick auto plant, now houses Bang Candy, selling artisanal marshmallows (in flavors like rose cardamom and toasted coconut); several artists’ studios; and Corsair Artisan Brewery, whose taproom dispenses craft draft beers from microbreweries around the country. Marathon Village’s biggest tenant is Antique Archeology, a retail spinoff from TV’s “American Pickers.” The merchandise might make good souvenirs for rabid fans of the show, while others might judge that a metal “standing desk lamp,” rewired but with its authentic grime left intact, doesn’t warrant the price tag.