Bordered on three sides by water, Barrington is best known as an affluent bedroom community with some extraordinary views and fine living. With the town beach boasting four acres of unspoiled shoreline overlooking Narragansett Bay, it’s hard to imagine the town is just nine miles from the capital city. Restaurants, ice cream shops and bakeries (like the beloved Vienna Bakery, which stays stocked with European treats including eclairs, German Bismarks, palmiers, baklava, Napoleons, Italian cookies and more) are found throughout town, and mom-and-pop owned retail shops keep service personal.
Barrington Village Center
Feminine Fancies, 290 County Rd., (401) 247-1087: Dresses and polished pieces by Milly and Shoshanna, et al., plus shoes, accessories and lingerie– this shop is stocked for the well-dressed woman. Frugal fashionistas should keep their eyes peeled for their famed sidewalk sales.
Teddy Bearskins and Bearskins for Boys, 290 County Rd., (401) 245-8703: This shop, catering to the smaller set, carries children’s and infant clothing, formalwear, toys and more. Other locations are in nearby Wickford and in Mystic, Connecticut.
Alfred’s of Barrington Consignments, 18 Maple Ave. (401) 245-3101: Home to antiques, gently used fine furnishings and home accessories.
Grasmere, 40 Maple Ave., (401) 247-2789: For more than 15 years, Grasmere has been creating fabulous custom made silk and dried floral arrangements and proffering hand-crafted pottery from their shop that beautifies Barrington. It’s in rare form during the holiday season, when live musicans make appearances and the place is, simply put, magical.
Hollie’s on the Avenue, 60 Maple Ave., (401) 245-0090: Walking in this specialty gift shop is like walking into the pages of Coastal Living magazine. In addition to great table wear, decorative pillows, you’ll find Scout and Amy Butler bags, totes, hats, a few cover-ups and tons more.
DK Fabrics and Handbags, 70 Maple Ave., (401) 245-2300: Wanna custom design your own handbag? Want some one with style to do it for you? Want yards and yards of fab fabric? It’s all at your fingertips at this great little haunt.
The Stock Exchange, 57 Maple Ave., (401) 247-5400: This beloved shop had closed but then was reopen about five years ago and today, is going strong with three floors of furniture, jewelry, gifts, decor, etc. Take your time there and discover a treasure or two.
Artist in You, 71 Maple Ave., (401) 247-2100: This contemporary art studio and school offers everything from bath and soap making, glass fusing and candle making classes to watercolor, oil painting and ceramics for both adults and children.
Daisy Dig’in’s Florist and Gifts,123 Maple Ave., (401) 245-0580: Obviously the name gives it away, but much more than a florist, this super-cute spot has heartfelt cards, interesting jewelry, and fun little knickknacks.
Milan Fine Men’s Clothier, 270 County Rd., (401) 247-9209: Fine Italian suits for men (and everything you need to outfit the suit- belts, shoes, pocket squares etc), chic casual shirts from Tailorbyrd and more.
Gray Jewelers, 270 County Rd., (401) 245-7777: For more than 100 years, Gray’s has been helping customers find eye-popping gold and sterling silver jewelry, watches (like Rolex and Tag Heuer (plus pre-owned watches and batteries), fine pens and clock.
Creatoyvity: 236A County Rd., (401) 245-4400: “Baby gear and imaginative toys from around the world to nurture and inspire creative kids;” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Other locations in Providence, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Barrington Shopping Center
In addition to major retailers including Talbots, Ann Taylor Loft and of course, a Starbucks, this shopping center has a number of locally-owned spots including Barrington Books, 184 County Rd., (401) 245-7925: New releases, classics, children’s books, a wall of every magazine you could imagine, small gifts, and personal service is what you’ll find here. Moms and dads: catch children’s story hour every Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. for kids 2-5 years hosted by children’s book author Anika Denise.
The Picket Fence, 24 Bosworth St., (401) 245-0484: With a super cute lamb on their sign, it’s no surprise that the treasures inside– pillows, belts, shoes, ornaments, doorstops, rugs– are just as precious. PS: As evidenced by the greeting you’ll get from Rex the Pug, this shop is doggie-friendly!
Center Hardware, at 156 County Rd., in businesses in Barrington since 1934 and if coming from Newport, is the first retailer to welcome you to the town and has just about everything you could need for a little fix-up.
Have a favorite Barrington haunt we missed? Let us know at email@example.com
Pictures by Jim Sattel