A look at the Main Line’s most eclectic town through the eyes of Plank Studio's Hilary Ryan.
Walk down Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, and you’ll see a glaring juxtaposition of old-school and new, as decades-old mom-and-pops are mixed in with shiny new retailers. As the population center of tony Radnor Township in the upper half of the Main Line, it was voted by CNN Money as one of the top 100 “Best Places to Live and Launch.” With its fine dining, eclectic shops, and a healthy mix of blue bloods and city transplants making up the community, it’s easy to see why.
No one knows this better than Plank Studio’s Hilary Ryan. Wayne’s newest fitness mecca, Plank (532 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-688-0107) is Pennsylvania’s first and only Megaformer studio, featuring the machines favored by Michelle Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Sofia Vergara. It’s little surprise that, with her fingers firmly on the pulse of what’s hot in fitness, Ryan knows the ins and outs of her hometown.
Megaformer machines provide a core-burning workout that blends Pilates, cardio, and strength training.
“I moved here from New York because I wanted to be in a place that was walkable. And Wayne is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s like a little slice of America. It’s a very sophisticated, quaint town that still has all of the aspects of being in the city. You can find everything you need here without the hassle of driving the 13 miles downtown. You can literally walk out your door and go to a restaurant that could easily be in Philadelphia. Or I can go shopping here like I would in New York.
“I absolutely love going to Eagle Village, which is this super-cute little plaza with places to shop and eat. In it is Menagerie (503 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-971-1769), which is my favorite store in all of Wayne. It’s a clothing and jewelry boutique that sells brands like Calypso St. Barth, and it has its own line of jewelry. The owner used to live in New York, and it’s like she went back and picked out everything I’d ever wear and put it in the store. She has beautiful scarves and handbags—it’s very bohemian chic. Gramercy Boutique (503 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-225-1770) is right next door. It’s a little more conservative, and it’s more for the Lilly Pulitzer-type crowd.
Eaves is Wayne’s go-to boutique for big, textured knits and scarves for the season.
“I also love Eaves (105 N. Aberdeen Ave., 610-688-4466), which is a small, unique store. They carry a line of jeans I’m obsessed with called Fade Denim, plus great pieces from Splendid, big sweaters. Coco Blu (116 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-293-2626) is a favorite for accessories and jewelry. I bought a beautiful costume necklace there recently, and they have these scarves that you can have monogrammed. It’s a perfect holiday gift. And of course, there’s Vivi G Shoes (503 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-688-6732), if you’re looking for a pair of Tory Burch flats. But I spend most of my shopping time at Lululemon (220 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-964-7964). They’re huge advocates of the studio. Everybody is in Lululemon all the time out here.
“And then there’s Anthropologie (201 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-687-4141). I interned there in the accessories division (I went to school with [President and CEO] Dick Hayne’s daughter, which is how I got the internship). I live right across the street from the store now, and I find myself in there at least once a week. Half of my home is decorated from there! And I’m also in love with Valley Forge Flowers (503 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-687-5566). I go in there constantly to stock up on candles. Blue Mercury (100 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-225-0111) is the only place I go for cosmetics. I love that I can just pop in there and pick up my Bumble and bumble and Chanel.
Women’s fashion boutique Coco Blu is known for its jewelry sourced from local artisans.
“When it comes to going out, there are not enough good things I can say about White Dog Cafe (200 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-225-3700). I’m there at least once a week for lunch meetings and a Bloody Mary. The old wooden bar is just charming, and I love dogs, so the canine theme is so cool. And then there’s Restaurant Row on North Wayne Avenue, where there’s just one wonderful restaurant after the next. There you can find Matador (110 N. Wayne Ave., 610-688-6282), which has a really good happy hour. Plus, it’s awesome to sit outside and people-watch. Or, Jules Thin Crust (114 E. Lancaster Ave., 484-580-8003) is the right choice when you want pizza, but you want to be healthy, too. And, of course, Gryphon Cafe (105 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-688-1988) is fantastic. It’s your quintessential coffee shop. It’s my go-to spot when I want to sit down all day, drink coffee, and do some work. Plus, it features some beautiful artwork. For dessert, Aux Petits Delices (162 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-971-0300) is this really charming little French shop. If I’m going to someone’s house, I grab some petits fours and little cups of homemade gelato and cookies.
The White Dog Cafe’s wooden bar and seasonal favorites, such as wild Alaskan halibut, bring Ryan in weekly.
“When I want a dose of culture, there’s the Anthony Wayne Theatre (109 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-225-2442). It’s a very community-minded old Art Deco theater that has the original wraparound marquee. Sometimes, in addition to the movie titles, you’ll see happy birthday, jack written on it. The Wayne Art Center (413 Maplewood Ave., 610-688-3553) is also a huge part of the community. They have amazing art classes for everyone, including seniors. There’s also Painting with a Twist (107 E. Lancaster Ave., 484-367-7254), where you can drink some wine and learn how to paint. It’s great for a girls’ night out. This quaint, iconic little bookstore called the Readers’ Forum (116 N. Wayne Ave., 610-254-9040) is another landmark.
“Christmas around here is truly unbelievable. All of the stores are open, and there’s hot chocolate for the kids and red wine for the grownups. And there are even horse-drawn carriage rides. It’s out of a movie. Everyone in the town is there to share the magical moment. It truly looks like a painting.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW KAHL