Sunday, December 8, 2013

A visit to Royal Male at The Providence Arcade

Built in 1828, The Providence Arcade is the United States' oldest indoor shopping mall.  It's also been known as the Westminster Arcade and, simply, The Arcade.  This elegant example of the Greek rectilinear temple style was modeled to imitate European business arcades and is an important example of early monolithic granite construction.

In the above picture, you can see how the porticos house the stairways, a very convenient feature.  Each end of the building has 6 Grecian Ionic columns three feet in diameter.  The roof over the entrance hall is covered with glass 32 feet in width by 188 feet in length.  A wonderful light is created by this feature.  This beautiful building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  The building was closed for remodeling in 2008, but was hampered by the poor economy.  It reopened this past summer and new stores are opening almost weekly.

Here's the exciting part of the story.  Two of my favorite shops moved into The Arcade.  I like good coffee and New Harvest is the best in Rhode Island.  I have a fondness for Coffee Exchange, too, but New Harvest has partnered with some of the coolest coffee shops in New England and they are just plain awesome.  I took a barista class with them a couple of winters ago and it was really terrific.  Well, this blog isn't really about coffee, so I'll move along to the main attraction.

Maurice and Lynne de La Valette opened Royal Male opened in Newport, RI back in the 1980's after leaving Saks 5th Avenue in New York.  They have since opened another shop in Newport, Royal Warrant and have recently another Royal Male in The Arcade, which is managed by their son, Etienne.

The store is small, but packed with the finest products.  Of course, I love my Barbour, but they carry all of the best outdoor wear, some of which is made especially for them.  For my first visit, I brought along my friend, coworker and fellow Barbour enthusiast, GDM.  We met for coffee next door at New Harvest, got our caffeine on and got ready to take it all in.

Best of Rhode Island

Royal Male carries many of the hard to find Barbour jackets, like The Commander.  GDM found and XL to try on and it fit perfectly.  After thinking about it for a couple of days, he's heading back down to pick it up this week.  Etienne was happy to hold it for him.

Here are a couple of Polaroid pictures that I took during our visit.



Polaroid 250 with Fuji FP100c

Royal Male does a lot of business online and you can check their website here.  They can be found on Facebook and Tumblr.  They offer a student discount, which is great, especially if you are attending nearby Brown University, Johnson & Wales or Providence College.  Please check them out if you're in the Providence area and don't miss the other exciting shops at The Arcade.

Here's a great article from the Providence Journal about The Arcade.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting your trip. It looked like a lot of fun. I'll be sure to visit Royal Male the next time I'm in Rhode Island.