Southold is a Destination for Designers

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A selection of items at touchGOODS in Southold.

The North Fork is usually associated with its many wineries and the popular tourist spots in Greenport, but the region is quickly becoming a destination for home furnishings. In past years Southold was often considered a “drive-through” town on the way to Greenport — perhaps a place to make a quick stop at a farm stand — but recently, the empty storefronts lining Southold’s main road have been replaced by appealing antique shops and furniture stores. The addition of trendier stores has attracted a younger crowd, which has begun to vacation in the area and buy homes on the North Fork as a cheaper and more relaxed alternative to the Hamptons.

These changes have not gone unnoticed by local merchants. Norine Pennacchia, owner of TouchGoods, a furniture store that opened in Southold last March, says that “Southold has definitely turned into a town with more foot traffic. People are walking around because there are more places to go now, with the shops that have opened across the street and with my shop.”

“Southold is sort of a destination for home furnishings,” says Pennacchia, “There are three or four home furnishing stores across the street, and there were a couple other shops doing estate sale cleanouts recently with open storefronts on the Main Road.” Because Southold is such a small town, the additions of new home furnishing stores such as White Flower Farmhouse and TouchGoods along with new antique shops have quickly transformed the area into a destination for interior decorators.

Paulette Ofrias, a life long resident of Southold and owner of Southold Pharmacy, says that, “There weren’t a lot of stores in the area but in the past few years a lot of boutique furniture stores have popped up, creating a lot more walking traffic.” However, Ofrias isn’t ready to consider the new stores a permanent change to Southold. “The North Fork has become a destination, but we are still a drive-through village,” says Ofrias. Pennacchia has similar sentiments about the drive-through traffic in Southold, but with the addition of trendier stores, she views this as a positive. “A lot of people are heading out to Greenport and stopping on the way or on the way back, and as much as we don’t like the heavy traffic, the traffic out front gives them a chance to see what’s happening in Southold.”

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