From toys to olive oil, high-end clothing to comic books, jewelry to 200 varieties of loose-leaf tea, downtown Huntington stores offer something for just about everyone.
A walk down the two main shopping arteries, Main Street and New York Avenue, offers shoppers several clothing stores — Fox's, Mitchells and Ann Taylor Loft, as well as numerous smaller boutiques — art galleries, shoe stores, a mix-your-own scent perfume store and shops selling furniture and one-of-a-kind items. A new store, Industry (344 New York Ave.) is a collaborative effort among local craftspeople and antique dealers to create a “curated space” featuring pieces from multiple sellers and including vinyl records.
At Little Switzerland Dolls & Toys (267 Main St., 631-549-8743, littleswitzerlandtoys.com), fancy dolls with porcelain faces and velvet clothes sit near doll houses and wooden rocking chairs. Puzzles share shelf space with board games, Lego kits, model trucks, Slinkys, elaborate French toy soldier figurines and a Chewbacca action figure. Children’s educational books, cloth books for infants, coloring books and big-eyed stuffed animals are among the offerings.
Owner Lily Bergh has operated the store for 30 years, and over time it’s switched its stock to about 70 percent toys. She sees a good mix of new and familiar faces stopping by and said longtime customers often call to have her set something aside when they need a present.
“One lady came in today and said ‘I can’t go to Toys "R" Us anymore, so I came here,’ ” Bergh said.
Foot traffic is picking up for the holidays, she noted. Richard Klein, one of two brothers who own the large independent bookstore Book Revue (313 New York Ave., 631-271-1442, bookrevue.com), agreed there’s been an uptick in customers. The store is open late, so it's a frequent stop for shoppers before and after dinner.
Along with the Café Revue, the store's perennial attractions include the wooden fire truck in the children’s section, nicknamed the F Stop Fitzgerald, a take on author F. Scott Fitzgerald, where children play while parents shop nearby.
"I expect Michelle Obama's new book, 'Becoming,' will do well this season," Klein said, along with new thrillers by John Grisham and James Patterson.
One of the newest shops on Main Street, Clipper Ship Tea Co. (297 Main St., 631-651-2764, facebook.com/ClipperShipTea), relocated from Northport this summer after its storefront was damaged in a fire last year. Owner Melissa Wawrzonek is thrilled with the location.
She likes the steady foot traffic and the good balance of retail and restaurants, which offers her shoppers options, since her customer base comes from across Long Island. "If they're going to make the effort and drive 35 or 40 minutes, it's good they can take in a movie and eat dinner, too," Wawrzonek said.
Michelle Smith of Central Islip was shopping one recent day for presents for her grandchildren and took home a chemistry set, a toy vacuum cleaner and a few other prizes. "I like Huntington, and I know I can find unique things here," she said. She estimated she comes maybe 10 times a year, visiting friends, taking in a show at The Paramount or an art film at Cinema Arts Centre.
Christy Casamassima of Huntington was shopping after school with two of her three children. "I try and shop local first before I use the internet, the mall or the bigger chain stores," she said. "It's nice to have a town to walk around in, and shop and see things, especially at Christmastime." Her daughter, Emily, 7, and younger son J.T., 11, agreed. "I like every toy store in town," Emily said. J.T. concurred, noting his favorite was Helisport on New York Avenue, which sells sports clothing and accessories along with paddleboards and skateboards in summer and ski gear in winter.
The town kicks off its holiday celebrations with the ninth annual Huntington Holiday Parade, the Wall Street festival and annual tree lighting on Nov. 24, Small Business Saturday. The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. from the Big H Shopping Center on New York Avenue. It ends with Santa’s arrival at the tree lighting on Wall Street. Free parking will be available at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station, with a free shuttle downtown from 5 to 10 p.m. Qwik Ride also will offer free rides around Huntington village, officials said.
Here are some other shops worth popping into:
Sedoni Gallery, 304 New York Ave., 631-547-4811, sedonigallery.com. Sedoni has a large selection of contemporary jewelry, furniture, gifts and hostess items. Bowls, trays and platters, salad forks and decanters mingle functional with contemporary craft, making it hard to decide whether to use or display the latest find.
Bon Bons Chocolatier, 319 Main St., 631-549-1059, bonbonschocolatier.com. Gourmet chocolates, from handmade candy and hand-dipped fruit to elaborate holiday centerpiece designs and delicious soft, handmade marshmallows covered in toasted coconut. There's also seasonal décor, tableware and enough candy and gifts to stuff all your mantle's stockings.
Zachary's Fine Jewelry, 264 Main St., 631-673-2200, zacharysfinejewelry.com. This family-run business is celebrating its 10th year on Main Street, with the majority of its pieces — ranging from trendy to classic styles — designed and made upstairs by owner Zack Dulgerian.
Escape Pod Comics, 302 Main St., 631-923-1044, www.escapepodcomics.com. The store offers comics, art and graphic novels, buttons, statues and figurines. If you haven't been into a comics store lately, check out the new trends, manga and hardcover books. And stop by for a book signing, too.
Vines and Roses, 345 Main St., 631-549-0300, vineandroseshuntington.com. This small women's fashion boutique specializes in bohemian/romantic clothing and accessories, with lots of floaty tops and casual jewelry.
Munday’s, 259 Main St., 631-421-3553: Luncheonette-style, popular for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Sapsuckers, 287 Main St., 631-683-4945, sapsuckersli.com: Pubby, with tacos, sandwiches, casual main dishes, plus brews. The Shed, 54 New St., 631-385-7433, intheshed.com: Breakfast dishes, sandwiches, burgers, American favorites. Spice Village Grill, 281 Main St., 631-271-9700, spicevillagegrill.com: Indian, South Asian, fusion. Vauxhall, 26 Clinton St., 631-425-0222, vauxhallhuntington.com: Downtown’s burger central, with good beers.