Welcome to Main Street Chatham
Yankee Ingenuity is a wondrous place with gift items I’ve never seen anywhere else. The shop has a jaw-dropping selection of shark-themed gifts, including a coffee mug that’s decorated with a serene swimming scene; when you pour in a hot beverage, though, a shark that was hidden in the picture emerges—and is ready for breakfast. A gift I decided not to further investigate was simply called “Bug Eyed Skeleton Bank.” Withdrawing, I passed a pint-sized porcelain shark sculpture that was eerily realistic-looking and seemed to be grinning at me. “Greetings, chum,” I imagined it saying.
We stopped in the Cape Abilities retail shop on Main Street. It’s hard to miss; it’s the lime green building a few blocks from the lighthouse. Employees Aaron Fiero and Ann Marie Campbell showed us some of the store’s different products, and Andrew Todoroff, the organization’s director of business development, told us about the blueberry pie-eating contests held at the store on Wednesday nights in summer. It’s open to the public and trophies are given out. Hint. Hint.
How much is that ducky in the window? In 2015, then-owner Cynthia Muenchow celebrated Ducks in the Window’s six-year anniversary. This duck shop has a fun origin story. Originally, the business was called The Corner Toy Store, and then one day Muenchow put ducks in the window. They were so popular Muenchow decided to sell only duck-related toys. Under new ownership, today, the store ships across the country and internationally. They even sell a “Duckinator” model with shades and a t-shirt that proclaims, “I’ll be Quack.”
Located in the “East End” of downtown Chatham, is Mermaids on Main. What’s the allure of mermaids? “They get away with things we might not be able to in real life,” says shop owner Tara Owen. Inside, customers can find a variety of mermaid artwork and décor items and other unique products. The company celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016.
In addition to the works of local authors including Lisa Genova and Alice Hoffman, store manager Joanie Goodrow of Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore says adult coloring books were a popular item last summer. The store has a regular core of reading customers, Goodrow says, and is also dog-and stroller-friendly. “We are a family,” she says. “Chatham is a little off the beaten path, so when people get here they want to stay in town.”
We cooled our heels with 2 great meals
During a conversation earlier in the day, Chatham resident Guy Mangs recommended we dine at The Chatham Squire, where he particularly enjoys the veal and mussels. “It’s a fun place,” Mangs says. “It’s always packed.” Taking his lead, we enjoyed a meal fit for a knight indeed, including Caesar salad, wine, and a shrimp and chicken stir-fry.
The Red Nun is a great place to watch a game. There’s lots of sports memorabilia on the walls, including a Chatham Anglers’s jersey as well as one formerly worn by Patriots lineman Matt Chatham. The décor also features a ship’s wheel, a lobster claw, and lots of foreign currency. Also, it’s a two-minute walk from the Chatham Anglers’ home field!
The ever-charming Chatham
During our time in Chatham, we chatted with Cathleen Sulli of Ridgefield, Connecticut, who was visiting family on the Cape. “It’s my favorite place,” she says of the town. “I like to take photos, I like to garden, and my daughter likes to shop.” Another visitor we met, Mary Ella Walker, hails from Shaker Heights, Ohio. She, too, is enchanted with Chatham. “There’s a charm about it,” she says. “It’s one of my favorite places in the world.”
Main Street Chatham Photo Gallery
Photography by Charles Sternaimolo
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