It’s hard to think of Thayer Street shopping without thinking of Berk’s Shoes & Clothing. That’s probably because they’ve been outfitting the East Side with trendy kicks for over four decades.
The history of Berk’s actually goes all the way back to 1900 in Burrillville, owner Steven Berk shares, where his grandfather opened the original family shoe store location. A Moses Brown alum, Steven moved the family business to the current Thayer Street location after graduating college in the mid-’70s.
In the time since, he’s seen trends evolve from disco-era platform heels to Birkenstocks and everything in between. Having a wide customer base including both lifelong East Siders and college students, Berk’s carries shoes, clothing and accessories for all walks of life, from casual comfort to dressier options. For both women and men, today’s trends are now leaning towards earthier basic styles both affordably priced and built to last. With brands such as Birkenstock and Converse currently in high demand, you can expect to find an array of athletic styles that can be worn just for fun. Carrying fresh new designs each month, the warm weather will also bring an increased selection of sandals and flip-flops.
After 117 years, they’re still keeping the family tradition alive. Steven’s daughter Lauren has joined the business and is involved with most decisions, including which styles to carry. After years of trendy shoes and happy soles, it’s no wonder that Berk’s is a staple of Providence style.