The weird and the wonderful: 8 CT stores offering something different

Connecticut is kind of a weird place. It’s part New York City metropolitan area, part New England farmland and part nautical beach town, with a couple cities thrown in. It’s only natural, then, that a place with such varying energies would have shopping options to match.

In this state, there are stores based on TV shows, stores that sell Connecticut-made tinctures and artwork, a bookstore where you can pet a goat, and a restaurant that moonlights as a bookstore.

If you’re looking to spice up your weekly Target run, maybe instead try one of these local weird stores for your retail therapy sessions.

Cindy’s Unique Shop

This consignment shop carries all kinds of quirky used goods, like antique cabinets, bird houses, artwork and other home goods. During the pandemic, the store has held live auctions on Facebook, where shoppers can place bids for items in the physical store even if they aren’t able to make it to Wallingford.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday at 65 North Colony St., Wallingford. Visit the store’s Facebook page.

Becca Rose Wellness

Nestled in the Olde Mistick Village Shops, Becca Rose is a trendy, millennial-pink, spiritual safe haven. The store sells organic, cruelty-free makeup, tarot cards, crystals, essential oils, artwork, spell books and more. There’s also an online shop to supplement your Becca Rose needs when you’re not in the area, and a Becca Rose community app just for women connects customers with brands and services from the store.

Check website for seasonal hours. 27 Coogan Boulevard, Suite 8C, Mystic. Beccarose.com.

Stars Hollow Yarns

This little yarn shop is located in Washington — the town Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino used as the basis for her fictional town “Stars Hollow.” Throughout the year, the shop hosts stitch circles, classes and events for crocheting and knitting enthusiasts.

By appointment Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Monday through Wednesday at 2 Wheaton Road, Washington. Starshollowyarns.com.

The Book Barn

The Book Barn in Niantic is one of the wilder book stores out there, with sprawling gardens to explore and a host of animal friends — including turtles, fish, goats and cats — to greet. There are actually so many cats that there’s an online “spotting guide” so guests can know all the cats by name. There are three stores that make up this establishment (also called the three “chapters”), each of which holds different genres of books organized for each reader.

11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at 41 West Main St., Niantic. Bookbarnniantic.com.

Rogue Comics

This comic book shop finds its home on Post Road in the Black Rock neighborhood of Bridgeport. The store sells almost every comic book imaginable, along with figurines of beloved characters and other merchandise for the nerd inside us all.

3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon-7 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday at 3000 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport. Facebook.com/RogueComicsCT.

Bestemors Imports

Bestemors is yet another quirky shop in Olde Mistick Village, but this one sells all things Scandinavian. From clogs to porcelain Swedish dolls to kids’ books to imported cheese, coffee and candy, there’s really no shortage of goods here.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday though Saturday at 27 Coogan Blvd., Building 12 A, Mystic. Bestemorsimports.com.

Pious Bird

Pious Bird is a spirituality store that sells a diverse collection of wares. Here you can get candles, essential oil spray blends, crystals for almost any purpose, soaps, jewelry, honey and more, all from local artisans. The store also hosts events, like monthly tarot card readings, and has an online store.

11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday at 2960 Fairfield Ave., Black Rock. Piousbird.com.

BONUS: Traveler Restaurant

While this isn’t technically a store, it was just too weird not to include here. Traveler’s Restaurant is a diner almost on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border that gives away free books with every meal. So, if you’re looking to get a book and a burger, maybe this is the place for you.

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday at 1257 Buckley Highway I-84, Union. Facebook.com/thefoodandbookpeople.

sarajane.sullivan@hearstmediact.com, @bysarajane on Twitter