Owl Shop …. Since 1934
The Owl Shop was originally opened on Wall Street in 1934 by Joseph St. John who came to America from Greece in 1925. Beginning originally as a bookstore, he was also selling tobacco and mixing his own blends. In 1937, a second store on College Street was opened by Joseph and his wife Catherine, also of Greek descent. Expanding to having five stores they decided in 1951 to have everything under one roof, the College Street location.
At the time when the Shubert Theatre was flourishing from the 30’s – 60’s, you might have seen Edward Robinson, Vincent Price, Van Johnson, Alec Guiness, Rex Harrison, Olivia de Havilland or Helen Hayes visiting the shop. In those days the theatre brought lots of glamorous people to the area, but in 1977 the Shubert was closed. The Shubert has been re-opened and is again a thriving theatre in New Haven.
After the death of her husband, Catherine St. John kept the shop open, and with it, two of the shops original employees, one of which is still with the shop today; Joe Lentine. Joe arrived in the 1960’s and his specialty is mixing the tobaccos. The Owl Shop is now owned by Glen Greenberg, who has owned the shop since November 1998. Today the shop still maintains its fine reputation for being one of the last, best, quality tobacco shops in the county offering a 400 sf walk in humidor, cigar lounge and bar, tobaccos blended on-premises, pipes, chess, backgammon sets and other fine gifts.
Myron E. GoochSr.