The Pawtucket Gift Shop, nestled in the same block as The News Cafe in downtown Pawtucket, offers a taste of locally made consignment items that cover just about everything DIY under the sun. Think records, tapes, CDs, screen printed shirts, knitted hats and scarves, novelty toys, patches, pins and prints. The local music scene basically has a whole store dedicated to merch and swag.
Justin Foster and Hana Kearney, who book artists at The News Cafe have expanded to a storefront with the community-minded intent of taking up space in downtown Pawtucket that, as Justin puts it, “isn’t a gas station, cell phone store or fast food place.”
“The idea of the gift shop helps out the arts and music communities, while bringing some attention to the city,” Justin says.
It is with hometown pride in mind and a connection to the DIY scene that The Pawtucket Gift Shop works to push local music, specifically bands that are involved in Pawtucket, whether that means playing at The News Cafe, practicing in a neighboring mill building or recording at Big Nice Studio [in Lincoln] or Machines With Magnets. Plus you can grab a sweet “I got drunk in Pawtucket” shirt and other Pawtucket gifts designed by Hana.
“What gets me excited is the potential to build a community in the downtown area of like minded people to try and tip the scales in a direction that the city needs to go in,” Justin says. “If you build it, they will come.” 46 Summer Street, Pawtucket.