When it comes to souvenirs, Boston’s options lean toward Red Sox jersey T-shirts and mass-produced lobster-shaped key chains. That was the problem Susan Battista and Fritz Klaetke would run into when visiting friends would ask the couple where to shop. Enter their new store, 1630. Named for the year Boston was founded, 1630 started as a Newbury Street pop-up this past December and now has a permanent home in Faneuil Hall, where tourists and Bostonians can browse a selection of antiques and wares by local makers that reflect New England’s rich history. “Boston is smarter than ‘Green Monstah’ and ‘wicked awesome,’ ” Battista says. “We wanted to elevate the area through what we’re doing.” Even 1630’s familiar products—like Red Sox apparel—include insider winks, like a “Lone Red Seat” T-shirt (this year marks the 70th anniversary of Ted Williams’ famous homer). The cut-out figures on which the T-shirts are displayed were made by a local artist, as are the many and varied wares that include hand-printed cards, pins made from old ephemera, jewelry repurposed from scrimshaw Battista finds in New Bedford and more. “If you’re visiting Boston, you wouldn’t know where to find [these kinds of things]. There’s no one place,” Klaetke says. Until now, that is. And artisans interested in getting on 1630’s shelves can “audition” at the store’s monthly Maker Pitch Night—“It’s part American Idol, part Shark Tank,” says Battista—where makers can show their goods and tell their unique New England story.
1630 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, South Market Building (617-398-7279) 1630boston.com.