NOTO North & NOTO South: Hidden Gem of Akron 12-06-16

106 North Main Street & 76 South Main Street


Michelle DeShon

NOTO North is located across from Luigi’s Italian Restaurant.

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

I found your retail therapy fix for finals week. NOTO North and NOTO South – two unique boutiques in Akron – are sure to give your mind a short break with some relaxing shopping.

NOTO North features a collection of women’s and men’s new and gently used clothing, accessories, bath and body products, and decor. Lauren Ward, owner of the two NOTO boutiques, describes the style of NOTO North as edgy. This boutique is currently stocked with thick shawls and wraps, statement jackets, cozy hats, and fun graphic T-shirts. Ward travels to second-hand stores and picks the pieces she likes to bring to NOTO North.

NOTO North is located directly across from Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in the Northside District. Parking is easily found in the same parking lot as Luigi’s. Ward recently opened this location in August of this year after operating NOTO South for about nine years, although not always at its current location. NOTO South is located inside the shopping center on the lower floor of the First Energy building downtown.

NOTO South features only women’s clothing, accessories, and jewelry, and the style is more feminine than that found at NOTO North. Unlike the mix of vintage and new finds at NOTO North, NOTO South only features new clothing items.

“It’s really cool from a college perspective because we have something in everybody’s budget,” Ward said. “New items tend to be more expensive than used items, but we hand select used and it’s really cool still. There’s a good mashup of merchandise.”

Both stores are in walking and biking distance from campus. NOTO South is just under one mile from campus and NOTO North is about a mile and a half from campus.

Ward enjoys speaking to the people who visit her boutiques. “We get such an interesting eclectic mix of people in here – older, younger, and in between. Some college students. Some West Akron folks who have lived here a long time.”

NOTO North also participates in the monthly Downtown Akron Artwalk, an event where visitors and locals walk through the city and explore more than a dozen art, shopping, and dining locations.  

On Dec. 23, Ward will be hosting an event at NOTO North called “NOTO’s Holiday Hang.” Guests pay $5 to taste wine from a visiting wine rep, listen to live music from a performing band, and shop.

Follow the NOTO boutiques on Facebook and Instagram.


Hours of operation:

NOTO North

Tuesday-Friday: 2 to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NOTO South

Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.