Sorrentolens

Photos and thoughts; Cars; 1950s; 1960s

J. Press and Barrie Ltd. Booters

with 17 comments

Barrie Ltd. Booters; J. Press - York Street, New Haven, CT

Spring or Fall, my Dad would usually spring (for me) for a pair of shoes at Barrie Ltd. Booters on York Street in New Haven.  Right next to J. Press, this was a Saturday shopping experience for the young man – coached by his Dad.  I remember a pair of Barrie’s slip on “loafers” were somewhere around $22.  In the late 50’s and 60’s this was a considerable expenditure for some new kicks.

I remember vividly my Dad an my uncles buying shoes from Barrie’s.  They knew quality and it looked good on them.

When it came to clothes, my Dad pointed me in the right direction.  First J. Press; but I was poorer than dirt – but it stuck with me.  He gave me some hand-me-downs that to this very day I wish I still had.  The ties were a whole different deal — the stripes the regimentals, the pinpoints – all beautiful, clean and classy!

Thanks Pop!

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17 Responses

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  1. Excellent photo and wonderful memories. I also have many things learned from my Father that have made life more meaningful. It’s a gift.

    Heavy Tweed Jacket

    April 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  2. clearly the taste for nice things runs in the family. 🙂

    tricia

    April 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    • also, just checked on what $22 (in 1960) would be in today’s money: approximately $157.60. which is quite a bit of money for a pair of shoes, still!

      tricia

      April 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    • Ah yes… taste for nice things… definitely runs through the blood. You and I know it best I think! Love === Dad

      sorrentolens

      April 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

  3. I inherited a love of details from my father. He only wore Bally shoes and would absolutely wear the soles thin. I think the highest compliment he ever paid me was in a letter he wrote to someone else where he said I had developed a fine sense of taste.

    Speaking of taste, your photographs are absolutely outstanding. Shall look forward to seeing more of them.

    K.S.Anthony

    April 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    • Thank you for the compliment. (I just noticed this comment – sorry it took so long to reply).

      sorrentolens

      May 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm

  4. When I was a small child living in France I remember a pair of shoes my parents purchased for me. They came in a colorful tin can. Well I guess I remember the tin can more than the shoes.

    Preston

    April 25, 2010 at 6:55 am

  5. Your post showed up on my google search of Barries Bootery. I have a pair of Barries loafers on my feet right now; they are in virtually perfect condition as I don’t often wear them. My father had been sent to New Haven during WWII as part of his officer training for the Army Air Corps / USAF, and he remembered buying shoes at Barries; they might have been the supplier for all of the activated ROTC’s at the time. In 1980 my parents lived in Stratford; we went for a day in New Haven, and Dad sprung for a new pair of shoes for me – the ones I have on today. Still comfortable, perfect fit, timeless style (I hope).

    Sandy Hall

    May 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    • The pair of shoes you have from 1980 are probably very close to the original designs sold in the 60s and 70s – The last pair of kiltie tassle slip-on I bought in 1997 I think, bought two pair, still have one pair left – Sadly Barries closed several years ago — it was actually pressure from YALE who owns the block – they wanted them to change their hours and other things. So instead the closed. Thanks for dropping by.

      sorrentolens

      May 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

  6. I can hardly believe that this store is closed. I have been buying shoes here since 1963, the best dress shoes and loafers at reasonable prices. What a shock to see that they are no longer in business. I still have loafers and dress shoes that I have had for years. Today I discovered that they were no longer here. I first ran across this store from a classmate, Gordon Fogg, who was voted the best dressed student in his class at Trinity Pawling.

    david pittinos

    July 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    • David… Barrie Booters Ltd.. was thee place to by great shoes… the quality of today’s shoes pales in comparison to what Barries always provided.. not to mention the personal attention. In this case, Yale was the villan and push Barrie out by demanding unreasonable hours (I guess Barrie’s leased the space from Yale…).. anyway.. along with the Yankee Doodle now gone… it lease the Broadway and York streets all but a memory.

      sorrentolens

      July 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm

  7. Hi there, I found your blog here by searching for Barrie Ltd. Booters! I have a very old, (but mint) pair of those wooden shoe shaper things from this company. They were my fathers. (He grew up and lived his whole life in Connecticut, but recently passed away…) He had a lot of class and always dressed so sharp! Anyhow, we don’t use the shapers, so if you’d like them, I can send them to you as a RAOK! LMK! -Noelle 🙂

    Noelle

    March 18, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  8. I inherited a pair of Barrie Ltd. shoes 20 years ago and have worn them ,mainly on dress occasions,ever since. I know the store in New Haven has closed but does anybody out there know where I could purcahse a pair of brown cordovans?

    ken streett

    April 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

  9. It was interesting to see this photo. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s I used to work at J. Press next door to Barrie’s Shoes. His shoes were a little rich for my funds at the time, but he gave those of us working next door a discount so I did purchase three pairs of his shoes at various times. Talk about quality! I had one pair of loafers for twenty years. I had to replace the heels twice but the shoes lasted.
    I remember running in there on a Saturday morning after they had just opened up and needed to purchase a pair of black Oxford shoes. It was my wedding day. I had the tux picked up and thought I had a nice pair of dress shoes to go with it, but found out there was a cut in the side of the shoe which I hadn’t noticed before. I got the new shoes and Barries cut the price in half for my wedding. They did all get a good laugh out of this though. I just tossed those shoes out three years ago – after almost 40 years.

    Wayne Freeman

    October 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    • Glad you liked the photo. Whenever I’m in New Haven I try to stop into J. Press – I just love the place. Luck guy – you working there. I worked at Macy’s and the Yale Co-op. Over the years I must have bought ten pairs of shoes at Barrie Ltd. – and just yesterday I was checking e-bay to see if any were for sale – and there were. The quality was first rate as you know.

      Nice story about the wedding day too.

      =Paul

      sorrentolens

      October 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

  10. […] of luck selling any to me. I still have several pair of so far unused penny loafers purchased from Barrie Ltd. in New Haven, the best purveyor of men’s shoes, now gone, put out of business by the evil […]


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