Nearly nine years since they had to vacate their longtime York Street home due to damage from a winter storm, J. Press is returning to the Yale campus Broadway area. The store will take over the Elm Street space formerly occupied by Tyco printers.
My recollection of visits to the building brings back heart rending memories growing up as a kid in New Haven. The 1940s and 1950s WELI Jukebox Saturday Night weekend radio broadcasts featured a local celebrity disc jockey pushing hit 78rpm records available in listening booths at the David Dean Smith Record and Phonograph Shop that occupied the soon to be J. Press New Haven headquarters site.
Lines of pre-adolescents, high school kids and even a few Yalies lined the block to gain entrance spinning singles of Frankie Laine belting Mule Train or Miss Peggy Lee warbling Baubles, Bangles and Beads.
The Yankee Doodle Coffee Shop occupied the York Street side of the building beginning 1950 before its closing in 2008. The narrow restaurant with only 12 stools arranged opposite a counter that ran the length of the shop was a favorite among students, faculty, and assorted Eli hangers on. In a previous account I recalled my dad, Paul Press, president of his temple, escorting Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the Doodle to quaff cheeseburgers and chocolate milk shakes prior to a one-on-one tour of J. Press before heading to the New Haven Railroad station after MLK’s talk at Mishkan Israel.
Can’t wait for the campus rejuvenation with the building’s backyard overlooking the still J. Press owned 262 York Street space adjacent to the architectural Georgian ambiance of Yale’s Davenport College.
Bright college years return to J. Press.
Terrific to hear of your re-committment to the area! Also, your collaboration with Todd Snyder brought a fun celebration of the JPress logo. I bought many pieces. Please continue the innovation.
I’m wearing my J.Press sage wide-wale corduroys as I write. They drape beautifully, have worn like iron. I receive lots of compliments for them. Similar trousers are next to impossible to find.
As a long time customer these always brighten my day and give me hope that one day we may return to the sartorial standards of yore.
One of my memories of my Ph.D. days at Yale was sitting on a stool at Yankee Doodle, drinking cheap coffee, and reading Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics!
This is wonderful news. All we need now is a reborn Yankee Doodle!
The bill-of- fare at the Yankee Doodle Coffee Shop was always “dandy” and the presence of Press in New Haven has always been “precious” — that is:
A bit of New Haven here in California: Robert Maynard Hutchins, Dean Yale Law at age 27 in the twenties, deigned to conduct a seminar at UC Santa Barbara in 1960 for a number of us callow youths. During a break, in the arcade outside the classroom, we stood with the tall, slim intellectual aristocrat while he dragged on a cigarette, dressed in an impeccable olive three piece suit. It had to be Press or the then legitimate Brooks alternative. I remembered that suit twenty years later when I copied it, via Jos. Banks, for my wedding. Now forty more years later, I still (barely) fit in it, along with my full compliment of J. Press.
I’m from No. Suburban Chicago, in metro Chicago we have lost most of our traditional mens stores to larger retailers. I’m new customer appreciating you’re family owned, traditional styles and service.
Enjoy and prosper in your new store.
What a delightful memory, Mr. Press. I am a longtime J. Press customer, and always relish your Threading the Needle posts.
I neither went to Yale(Ohio State University) nor grew up on the East Coast(suburban Cleveland Ohio). Nevertheless, I am a long term and loyal J. Press customer and I adore reading the history of the store and its clientele. All great reads-very interesting and entertaining. The stories make me appreciate what a great institution J.Press is and how important it is to stay loyal to the brand.
All the Best !! Great clothing .