New boutique to replace United Colors of Benetton on Charleston's King Street

United Colors of Benetton will close in mid-February after nearly 17 years on lower King Street to make way for a new women's boutique.

Owner Lori Lecker, who has been a licensee of United Colors of Benetton stores for 25 years, recently decided to replace her stores in Charleston and Raleigh with her own boutique, Lori + Lulu.

The mid-to-upscale women's boutique based in Fernandina Beach, Fla., is primarily focused on outfitting middle-age women with the latest trends, Lecker said.

"Most of my customers at Benetton have grown up, and the store hasn't grown up with them. They're middle-aged women who still want to look good, but they can't fit into these smaller clothes," Lecker said. "This store works because it's a crossover for young and older women."

Lori + Lulu will open in Raleigh in a few weeks, and the store at 231 King in Charleston may open in March, Lecker said.

Brew and improved

Sesame Burgers and Beer in Park Circle recently expanded its bar and beer offerings.

The local burger spot at 4726 Spruill Ave. in North Charleston now features a larger bar with more seating and an upgraded draft beer system to serve more local craft beers.

"The latest upgrades have made for a more comfortable setting to stop by the Park Circle location for a burger, beer and a game," said owner Casey Glowacki.

Lofty transition

AnnTaylor, which closed its store at 265 King St. on Saturday, plans to reopen the location as AnnTaylor LOFT, the lower-end affiliate of the national women's retail chain. An architect contracted by the company requested city approval for the sign-age change this month, but the decision was deferred.

How neighborly

Twenty Six Divine, a locally owned gourmet cafe and bakery at 682 King St. on the peninsula, has partnered with neighboring Blue Heron Acupuncture to present an all-day event of free activities to celebrate its fourth year in business. Billed as "The Heart of the Matter," the event begins at 11 a.m. Feb. 8 with free holistic medicine services at the acupuncture clinic at 680-A King St.

The cafe will host a celebration from 6-8 p.m. featuring a showcase of local artwork, free wine and food, and a live performance by Moonlight Ale, an Irish band.

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Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906.

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