At Einstein Square, a hip new gathering space in the heart of Southold, a colorful mural pays tribute to the summer of 1939, when the famed physicist Albert Einstein summered on Nassau Point in Cutchogue.
He sparked a friendship with local department store owner David Rothman and later wrote to him, describing the Peconic Bay as “the most beautiful sailing ground” he had ever experienced and that it was his “happiest summer ever.”
It’s fitting then, that the newest tenant of the renovated department store, is a boutique that celebrates all things surf and sand.
Beacheeky, which features men’s and women’s apparel, beach-related goods, gifts and other trinkets, recently relocated to the new space from its former location in the Feather Hill shopping plaza.
“It was a very cool space, but actually it was too big,” owner Catherine Earl said of the former location last week. She said she was attracted to the space in Einstein Square since it’s in a more walkable area and has been beautifully renovated by property owners Glenn Heidtmann Jr. and Jonathan Tibett.
“It’s a blank slate. I could do what I wanted as far as the aesthetic of the store and pulling together my true vision,” Earl said. “And of course being next door to Southold General is a huge plus, because I love everything in there and the amount of people that sit here and gather in the summer is fantastic.”
The new location will continue to stock what Earl called ‘fan favorite’ gifts like locally made pillows, signs, photo frames and candles and a larger selection of jewelry, expanding on the handcrafted beach glass jewelry that was a staple in the original store.
Earl, who has worked as a gemologist and in jewelry retailing, worked with Lumber + Salt on wooden jewelry display cases reminiscent of driftwood as well as large spool tables that display merchandise throughout the airy store.
She first opened the shop in July 2019. The Massapequa Park native has lived in coastal locations throughout the country — including Hawaii, northeastern Virginia and San Diego — as her husband, Jeff, traveled for the Navy.
Being near the beach, she said, is where she’s happiest.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” Earl said, since opening. “I’ve been open under pandemic conditions longer than I’ve been without.”
In the new location, Earl hopes to host more artist pop-ups and vendor trunk shows and expand clothing inventory that’s mainly geared to moms and daughters.
Beachwear and accessories are a mainstay, but you’ll also find cozy sweaters, jeans, hoodies, funky jewelry and accessories, plus some “cheeky” nods to Einstein throughout the store, from plaques with quotes to bookmarks and other knick knacks.
A closing sale is currently being held at the Feather Hill location, which is expected to shut down at the end of January. Earl is planning an official grand reopening celebration later this winter.