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Olde Mistick Village offers unique shopping, dining and fun

You've probably noticed that the Hallmark and Lifetime networks have fallen in love with our region, make all sorts of films with our charming locales. And other movie folks are taking note. The latest rumor? That Stephen Soderbergh will direct a self-penned "Paul Blart — Mall Cop 5," starring Edward Norton ... and SET IN OLDE MISTICK VILLAGE!

And why not? Olde Mistick Village is a beautifully laid-out open-air mall with the architecture and charm of New England and an incredibly wide variety of stand-alone specialty shops, restaurants, and even a coin laundry!

Ideally, I'd mention ALL the businesses in OMV. But a random sampling of greatness would include Raining Cats and Dogs (a pet store designed to provide merch for humans who love their animals); Kitch (which is the sort of place where the Food Network would get all their show equipment and where folks who just love cooking love to shop); Mystic Kite Shop (yes: buy all your kite-flying stuff here); specialty foods and desserts; and even an on-site attorney!

Restaurants? You can live the rest of a long actuarial life and never have to leave the Olde Mistick Village because there are so many fine and different places to eat.The Bleu Squid! Jealous Monk! Deviant Coffee and Donuts! Mango Wood-Fired Pizza and Ice-Cream and Pink Basil and the Steak Loft and the Boardwalk!

Paul Blart is gonna LOVE this place.

Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., (860) 536-4941, www.oldemistickvillage.com.

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