Business

Raleigh’s upscale men’s store — think a $4,000 pocketknife and $800 shoes — opens

The 1,025-square-foot Raleigh shop Ealdwine is owned and operated by Jim Pietryka, left, and Matt Gray. The menswear shop was conceived with the offering of Alden shoes as its core with 47 separate styles of Alden shoes in-store.
The 1,025-square-foot Raleigh shop Ealdwine is owned and operated by Jim Pietryka, left, and Matt Gray. The menswear shop was conceived with the offering of Alden shoes as its core with 47 separate styles of Alden shoes in-store. jleonard@newsobserver.com

Ealdwine has officially answered downtown Raleigh’s call for upscale men’s clothing and accessories.

Ealdwine’s Gentlemen’s Shop, at 412 S. McDowell St. (just down the block from Poole’s Diner), had its soft opening last Friday and will mark its official debut this Friday (April 5) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that includes hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from 4-5 p.m.

The 1,025-square-foot shop, owned and operated by Matt Gray and Jim Pietryka, was conceived with the offering of Alden shoes as its core. Ealdwine delivers, with 47 separate styles of Alden shoes in-store and seven of those make-ups being unique to the Raleigh location (including a distinctive dark green suede oxford style shoe).

And that selection is likely to expand, Gray and Pietryka say.

The Alden shoe company was founded in 1884 in Middleborough, Mass., where the shoes are still made. Alden shoes run in the $500-$800 range, but, “They’re built to last a lifetime,” Gray said. “It’s old world manufacturing, no built-in obsolescence. And the style is timeless.”

In addition to Alden shoes, Ealdwine (which means “old friend” in Old English) sells Mizzen + Main shirts, Naked & Famous Denim, William Henry Studio knives and jewelry, Southwick suits, Frank Clegg leather bags and accessories, Ealdwine house label leather belts and Coppley custom suits.

Gray and Pietryka say business since the soft open has been good, with customers, ranging in age from their 20s into their 60s, shopping for items in every category.

For interested shoppers, they still have the William Henry Studio “Meteorite” pocketknife (price tag $4,000) in stock, but hurry.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.

  Comments