Holiday Shopping 2023: The Adirondack Store

For this installment of our local holiday shopping series, we talked to Stephen Shin, who owns The Adirondack Store at 39 Elm St. with husband Christopher English. Here’s our conversation. New Canaanite: Tell me a little bit about the store. Describe it generally for our readers.

Who Knew: A Very New Canaan Gift Guide

‘Who Knew?’ is sponsored by Walter Stewart’s Market. 

The fun thing about getting older (besides knowing where all the candy is hidden) is that you start to enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them. There’s a midlife shift toward benevolence, whether brought on by parenthood, maturity, or working with a therapist to develop a more sensible attitude toward hoarding Legos. Turns out, ‘tis actually better to give than to receive. 

And when the holiday season rears its $960 billion head in mid-October, we all start to get the Gift Sweats. Not that we won’t find anything; that’s impossible when consumer culture confronts each of us with 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages per day. But we fear that it won’t be the right thing.

‘It’s a Great Community’: Adirondack Store Opens on Elm Street

One of New Canaan’s longstanding and beloved retail shops has reopened in the heart of the downtown. 

The Adirondack Store had closed its New Canaan location after a successful 15-year run, and following a Grand Opening weekend is now open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday in a newly renovated space. “We are excited to be back,” Rahul Saito told Monday morning from the street-level of the shop at 39 Elm St. “People have been just wonderful,” he said. “The community has embraced us and missed us, actually, which has been great to hear.”

First opened in Lake Placid, N.Y. in 1955, the Adirondack Store had a New Canaan location from 1995 to 2009, when it closed due to differences with its landlord at the time, officials have said. The new store occupies the two-level former Family Britches space (that shop is now on Main Street) and includes a café in addition to the Adirondack Store’s signature range of gifts, glassware, pillows and home decor items.

Asked what brought him and Stephen Shin back, Saito said, “I think that a lot of the people who have homes in the surrounding area have second or third homes up in Lake Placid, so the connection didn’t really leave at all, ever.

‘The Adirondack Store’ To Open on Elm Street

A Lake Placid, N.Y.-based retailer whose offerings include a range of gifts, glassware, pillows and home decor items is planning to occupy a prominent commercial space on Elm Street that’s been vacant since April 2018. The Adirondack Store & Gallery has filed plans for its exterior renovation at 39 Em St. with Planning & Zoning. 

“The Adirondack Store was in New Canaan from 1995 to 2009 and closed that location due to differences with the landlord,” according to a narrative submitted with the plans. “They are looking forward to reopening in New Canaan.”

The two-level store had been occupied for about 40 years by Family Britches, which moved to Main Street. Before that a restaurant, notably the iconic Pierre’s or “Izzy’s Place,” as it commonly was known, operated there from 1944 to 1976.