our Newbury St location in Boston, MA is closing at the end of August
I had the pleasure of interviewing our Newbury shop manager Greg Petronio and all things Boston:
Q: How long have you worked for Goorin Bros.? Were you always at our Newbury location? A: In October 2013, I was hired as a part-time Holiday associate, then I accepted the assistant position. There were a couple stints as Acting Manager before finally being convinced to take over as Store Manager. The Newbury shop has always been “My Shop”, although I would also fill in at the Harvard Square location whenever was needed. Oh, and I spent a week working in our former Nolita shop in NYC too!
Q: What’s Newbury Street like? A: The shop opened here in late January 2011. Newbury Street is a quintessential Boston street with beautiful old brownstone buildings, upscale shopping and fun restaurants.
Q: Have you always loved hats? What are some of your go-to styles you typically wear? A: I’ve always been a “Hat Guy” wearing some type of hat. My mother has a pic of me in a highchair wearing one of my first caps. Go-to style? In the cool weather I’d have to say Dean the Butcher, I think I have about 12 of them! River Gray or especially my teal Conrad. I also love my ‘Scalis’ (Boston term for Flatcap)
Q: Any person or place from history inspire your style? A: This is a tough one. I have a somewhat hybrid style that has a bit of the Gene Kelly era, (40’s) but have my Jimmy Buffett side as well. I would say that my mother instilled a sense of classic styling but also how to mix it up with accessories and colors. When I’m not wearing flip-flops and shorts with a straw fedora, you will probably find me in a vest, funky socks and coordinating different patterns and colors.
Q: What are your favorite styles Goorin has made, past or current? A: Another tough one to answer. Whenever we would get a new shipment of hats, I would feel like a kid on Christmas morning. A couple styles: Dean the Butcher, Sugar Blues, Guido Delgado, The Gilder, Benjamin Paul, most of the 8 panel flatcaps. And my first ever Goorin from about 9 or 10 years ago, Smitty in navy!
Q: Favorite spots to visit in Boston? A: One of my favorite spots in the city is the Boston Public Garden. The oldest public park in America. I have the pleasure of walking through every day. From spring through fall, the flora and fauna are ever changing and magnificent. In winter, when everything is brown and dormant, the old trees have such character. Also, The North End, our Italian neighborhood!
Q: What cool events have the Boston shops hosted over the years? A: Oh wow, we have hosted so many events! The big ones include annual events such as Kentucky Derby Party, Murder Mystery, Havana Nights and of course, the Bicep Brawl. My 2nd year here, I took over our spring/summertime weekly Hat Happy Hours. We had amazing local bands, (Berklee College of Music is a few blocks away), and wonderful liquor reps. The following year I created Mimosa & Blues Sundays with some kick-ass Blues and Jazz bands playing. I always liked to instill that party, fun and casual atmosphere.Q: When you’re not slingin hats, what do you love to do for fun? A: My favorite is spending time with my family, Especially my grandkids! I have a close-knit group of lifelong friends. Also, anything that brings me outdoors such as, kayaking, hiking, random road trips. listening to music or playing basketball. Traveling and exploring are also some favorites.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part about introducing people to hats? A: When they come to the realization that they can and do look good in a hat. Taking the time to explain and educate them on the hows of hat wearing and the fun associated with wearing one. That it’s not about being “cool enough” or “stylish enough” to wear a hat, but to just own it!. I love to tell people to “just put one on and go!” The creating of smiles.
Q: What’s your advice to those who haven’t joined the hat club yet? A: Have some fun! You don’t need an outfit or occasion to wear a hat. The only occasion being any day that ends in ‘Y’! Visit one of our shops or spend time with one of our Virtual Stylist, have them help you with the fit and look of a proper style. Then buy it. But, the most important thing…WEAR IT! Again, have fun with it. You wear the hat, not the other way around. One of the neighborhood characters once told me “You’re wearing that hat!” His meaning was just that. I wasn’t trying look a certain way, I just put a hat on as I would put on my shoes. Just another part of your wardrobe! Those compliments that you receive will be genuine. Then add to your wardrobe!
Q: What will you miss most about the shop? A: Primarily, the people. All the conversations, the connections and the friendships. The sharing of my hat passion, and seeing people get excited about being in the shop. However, I know that I’ll be leaving with so many stories and even more amazing memories!
Take it from our local customers:"Let me say this…..have you ever walked into a store and felt like you’d just discovered the real-life version of Candy Land? Where you wanted to buy everything on the shelves, and your eyes couldn’t focus on just one item? Well this was the feeling I had a long time ago the very first time I walked through the doors, I’d found “my tribe!” I noticed one day that every single time I left there I walked away smiling whether I bought something or not. I figured out what I enjoyed most about this store - I realized I really liked “that guy Greg” that’s always in there! Besides being able to ALWAYS introduce me to a new hat that i didn’t even realize I wanted, it was always a great conversation - talking about the city, the colorful folks walking by each day, the Boston sports scene, and even eventually more personal things like our family’s, careers, and what brought us to this very moment in time where were crossing paths again. Not only that but the man gives a shit. He cares about what you’re talking about in the moment, he cares about selling you a hat you’re going to be excited about when you leave, and none of it is bullshit. Please excuse my language, but this is Boston. We shoot straight when we’re talking with a genuine person that we like. That’s the mode I feel myself in right now just thinking about my visits with Greg in the shop! Life is short. I believe in screaming it from the rooftops when I discover something about a person I find special."
// We are so sad to see our Newbury shop close down. Catch them before their doors are officially shut on 8.28.21 - 130 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116 // 617.247.4287