Living in the Gramercy Park/Union Square neighborhood means you have Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Nordstrom Rack, Paragon Sports, Petco, Reebok FitHub, Sephora, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and numerous other national retailers just steps from your front door. It’s not all major chains, however. The area is still home to smaller brands and local businesses, such as those below.
Founded by Harry Rothman in 1926, this menswear retailer is now run by his grandsons, with two stores in Westchester County and another on the West Side in addition to the Union Square flagship. On-site tailoring, custom fitting, and style consultations are among the services offered alongside business apparel, casualwear, shoes, and accessories by the likes of Ted Baker, Barbour, Baroni, Cole Haan, and John Varvatos, to name just a few brands.
Originally located in Brooklyn, this shop offers more than 150 varieties of cheese from nearly two dozen countries. You can also select expertly curated cheese boards, charcuterie, breads, books, cheese boards, gift baskets, and more. Not sure which cheese will go best with which wine? The staff are eager to help. In fact, they’re so happy to share the joys of all things curds and caseiculture, the shop periodically offers classes on cheesemaking and other cheesy topics.
Hairstylist Takamichi Saeki, who has an eponymous salon downtown, opened this shop to make some of his favorite artisanal and international beauty and wellness products readily available. Fragrances by Sicily’s Ortigia, facial masks by Omad made with Chinese medicinal herbs, moisturizers by L.A.’s Mary Allen, sculptural candles handmade in Japan from Takazawa, small-batch jams by Confiture Parisienne, and Takamichi’s own line of haircare are among the delights that will pamper body and soul.
An alum of Ralph Lauren Home, Sean McNanney founded Saved NY as a product line of luxe blankets and throws crafted by Mongolian artisans of sumptuous cashmere sustainably sourced in that country. He has since expanded to also design and sell pillows and apparel handmade of camelhair and yak down as well as an ever-changing curation of decor, antiques, and art. Then again, these spectacular throws qualify as art as well.
French apparel brand Agnès B. has only three shops in the U.S., all of which are in Manhattan. The Union Square boutique offers its womenswear (the other shops carry menswear and children’s apparel as well). The look is both timeless and au courant, and distinctively French in its seeming insouciance and emphasis on quality over quirkiness. If you want the perfect striped T-shirt, black leather ballerina flats with the slightest of heels, or snap-front cashmere cardigan, you’ll find it here.