A day in Washington Depot

J McLoughlinJ McLaughlin

We admit it. We’re a couple of women who really, really, like clothes. We’d almost go as far as to call fashion our hobby! Hence, when we knew we were going to be visiting Winvian Farm for an upcoming Getaway feature, we wanted to look the part. We decided that J. McLaughlin had the look we were going for. Pretty, wearable, casual, chic, and amazing quality fabrics.

So, in true blogging fashion, we decided to make a day/blog post out of our visit to Washington Depot. Here’s “A day in the Depot!”

For some reason, in pre-blog time, we never made the time to take advantage of the some of the local shopping we have around us. Our day in the Depot is a perfect example of us not taking advantage of Litchfield County and its cute hamlets of fabulous stores. Why hadn’t we done this sooner?! The town without a stop light is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

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Brothers Kevin and Jay McLaughlin opened their first “J. McLaughlin” store selling classic all-American clothing in 1977 in Manhattan. Today they have over 100 stores in many of the coolest cities, and often in unique small towns with tons of character, like Washington Depot. According to their website, “each shop’s attentively-designed interior is unique, reflecting the town’s color, character and architecture.”

Maybe we could plan a post on “a day spent in each town there’s a J. McLaughlin.”

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After a spot of window-shopping we head in and this is our greeting. Hello, retail-done-the-right-way!

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Manager Kristin Neugebauer welcomed us in and gave us a tour of J. McLaughlin’s spring line, seemingly knowing every single item they sell. She also told us a bit about the company and how they believe in giving back at a local level wherever they have stores. Look out for lots of great fund-raising events they put on each year.

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Kristin explained to us that J. McLaughlin clothes are cute on the hangers (we agree), but that you need to try their stuff on to really “get” the line. Try on we did, and we totally got it (we really really agree). These are the clothes we keep saying we should be buying more of. Classic pieces that can withstand the years they’ll surely be in our closet. Made from fabulous materials that will hold up and continue to look good.

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Kristin helped pull together three outfits for both of us, complete with cute hats, silk scarves, and bags. Check out our final picks and bloggeling (a bloggers version of modeling 😉 ) here!

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Cheers and then off we go, walking J.McLaughlin ads!

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All that shopping made us hungry, but what else is new? Time for a spot of lunch!

Just a few feet round the corner is Marty’s. Again, why have we not gone here sooner?! Flummoxed we are. Marty’s has just the right menu for a nice, quick and tasty bite to eat. They have a yummy breakfast and lunch menu with things like their customer favorite, a smoked salmon sandwich (which I opted for. I find it very difficult to ever resist smoked salmon). Granola parfait, turkey bacon, (always a plus in my books) waffles, and omelets. They also have sandwiches both a lil’ fancy and regular. Salads, paninis, soup, muffins, and sweet thangs. A few of our favorite things!🎶

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My smoked salmon deliciousness…

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Lora’s yumacious omelet

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Iced-chai – just what we wanted!

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We had a nice chat with this handsome guy – Blane Withers, owner, and very busy hands-on operator! Blane told us the story of opening Marty’s 10 years ago.

Originally he opened a tiny little barista/espresso station with a couple of lounge chairs, in the front window of his old store, (at the same location and across the street; since closed) Greenhill Home and Gardens. He called it the itty bitty brew bar. It was to be a place for people to hang out when they were shopping and take refuge from the winter.

After Blane’s late partner Marty passed, he decided to open this place (with the help of a couple of encouraging friends), which is something Marty and he had always talked about. He tells us his background was not in food service!

“It takes an owner/operator to run a business like this,” Blane explains. “It takes being here and tweaking it as necessary. Ninety-nine percent of our customers are neighbors and friends. They expect a friendly face.”

And it’s true, we witnessed Blane greeting almost everyone who walked through the door on a first name basis!
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Like a good host, Blane insisted that we try the mini Rugelachs before we left. Well, ok then! As it was a sunny, spring day, we decided to take it outside and enjoy watching the passers-by. Lovely!

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J.McLaughlin                                                                                             Marty’s Cafe

6 Bee Brook Road, Washington Depot, CT 06794                               4 Green Hill Road, Washington Depot

860-619-0601                                                                                              860-868-1700

Words: Bev Pics : Lora