A local souvenir and clothing shop has opened on East Main Street.
Peconic Bay Apparel has moved to the Main Street storefront from its previous location on McDermott Avenue, where it rented space in a building that’s been sold to the developer of a new mixed-use apartment building.
Though the new location isn’t far from its old spot, the storefront marks the first time in memory Main Street will be home to a local souvenir and clothing shop.
“There’s not really anywhere else in Riverhead that sells these types of souvenirs,” said Kathleen Shea, longtime manager of Peconic Bay Apparel.
The new location at 49 East Main Street gives the business more space and more visibility than it had on McDermott Avenue, which Shea described as “tucked away” and not prone to much foot traffic.
“People would tell me that they’ve lived here for 30 years, walked down the boardwalk all the time and never noticed we were there,” she said.
And for a business like Peconic Bay Apparel, it’s important to have exposure to passersby, who are a prime audience for browsing gifts and souvenirs.
“We’ll get some people as they walk by going to the restaurants, or during the fairs they have on Main Street,” Shea said.
Peconic Bay Apparel currently sells a variety of shirts, hats, bags and other items of apparel that are embroidered with nautical imagery and location names, like “NoFo,” “East End” and “Riverhead.” With a bigger showroom, and room for more inventory, Shea plans to start selling other types of classic souvenirs as well.
The business also offers custom embroidery, which was its exclusive offering when it opened in the ’80s until 2012, when Shea opened a retail shop.
The store is currently open for business Monday through Friday, though Shea plans to start offering weekend hours as the summer approaches.