On the Rocks: Sip While You Shop at This St. Louis Fine Jeweler
Anyone who has experienced an Amazon Prime hangover can attest that mixing alcohol and online shopping can produce some unexpected results. But enjoying a sophisticated sip or two while browsing for fine jewelry IRL? That’s a pairing that’s primed for success.
This, at least, is the premise behind Town and Country’s latest boutique concept, The Diamond Bar. Think of it as fine jewelry’s answer to the modern whiskey-while-you-wait barber shop, but catered to ladies looking for their latest signature piece, girlfriends celebrating life’s landmarks with a bit of retail therapy or, of course, the occasional anxious bachelor working up the courage to pop the question. Each demographic can find some confidence (liquid and otherwise) at this thoughtful shop, lead by lifelong jewelry industry veteran Chris Phillips.
Far from a gimmick, The Diamond Bar aims to dissolve some of the apprehension around shopping for fine jewelry by entrusting the process to everyone’s favorite professional confidante: an excellent bartender. After asking a few thoughtful questions regarding tastes and predilections, Phillips and his master craftsman cohorts guide customers through the creation of something truly extraordinary.
While the conversation is casual, the understanding of the process itself is anything but—no quick sketches on the back of a cocktail napkin here. Custom pieces move from concept to meticulous 3D model to completion in the experts’ capable hands. And even those shoppers not in the market for a lifetime commitment can benefit—The Diamond Bar offers repair and restoration services for well-worn heirlooms and is happy to provide a drink on the house while patrons wait. (What pairs better with Grandma’s 1930s locket than something else that’s only improved with age?)
“The relaxed atmosphere gives customers a chance to explore their options, have some fun, try on a style they might otherwise not have, and be truly informed about their purchases,” Phillips tells us. “Our emphasis is on education and customization … and the cocktails add an element of sophisticated fun.”
With two decades in the industry under his belt, there was no danger of the bar concept overshadowing Phillips’ dedication to his craft, but that doesn’t mean his approach to the former is any less thoughtful than the latter. “We focus on education, whether that be jewelry or cocktail related,” he says. “We’re jewelry experts that can make cocktails very well.”
And as with the beverages, a considerable portion of the shop’s wares will be made in-house, according to Phillips. “Our vision is to have 30 to 50 percent of our business be custom designs to ensure our clients have unique pieces they won’t see at other stores. What separates us from others is that more than 75 percent of our inventory can be designed to your specific taste.” And like a favorite whiskey, provenance is key. Even those pieces that aren’t crafted in St. Louis are all proudly made in the U.S., a point of pride for Phillips and his team. “People walk into our store to make one of the most important purchases of their lives,” he says. We can think of no better reason to raise a glass.
Images courtesy of The Diamond Bar.