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And the winner is ...

One of Laguna’s longest-tenured shops took top honors in the Coastline Pilot’s annual Holiday Window Contest. Areo came in second, and honorable mentions went to Little Freebirds and Toes on the Nose.

Georgiou, a clothing store at 260 Forest Ave., received numerous votes for its toned-down and tasteful holiday décor featuring large golden balls and a gold reindeer.

The shop, originally opened as Alexia, has been on Forest Avenue for 30 years, according to regional manager Mary Nichols.

Owner George Georgiou opened his first store in San Francisco on Union Street, than branched out to La Jolla, Carmel and Laguna Beach, Nichols said. Georgiou designed silk clothing that was made by a garment manufacturer in Cypress. Then it got too expensive to import all the clothing, so new vendors were added.


Over the years, the shop has added trendier and younger clothing for women, and also offers classic styles, as well as the ubiquitous “little black dress.”

Now Georgiou has some 15 shops in California and Nichols also manages five other stores in New Orleans, Oklahoma City and other states.

Georgiou, 70, lives in San Francisco, and is very active in the business, Nichols said.

“He works seven days a week,” she said.


Areo, 207 Ocean Ave., filled its window with an eclectic assortment of holiday-esque decorations, while Little Freebirds, a children’s shop at 227 Ocean Ave., featured a child-sized classic Christmas tree and charming items in its window.

Toes on the Nose was a hit with many for its ever-changing holiday window, from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

One reader wrote of the surf shop: “While not typically classic, it’s certainly unique and fitting for the edgy surf industry. In fact, throughout the year, their window displays always bring a smile to my face (and I’m old!). Did you catch their flannel shirt disguised as a turkey last month? Very clever!”

The voting began just after Thanksgiving and ended Sunday.

Twitter: @CindyFrazier1