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by Abigail and Amelia Showers
August 1, 2009


LittleRanch.jpg"I love downtown New Rochelle.  I am thrilled that many of Downtown’s historic buildings that I remember while I was growing up in New Rochelle are being restored by the BID and that new people, shops and restaurants are beginning to arrive. I am always discovering some new store or BID event downtown.

I’ve passed by the Little Ranch many times driving down Huguenot Street. And I’ve always been so intrigued by the colorful, merchandise filled window which peeks out from a row of otherwise unprepossessing storefronts. After seeing the large cowboy hat that Nathan William’s of the Zydeco Cha Cha’s wore at the BID’s popular free outdoor concerts at Library Green, my curiosity about the Little Ranch was definitely tweaked.

Last week my oldest daughter Amelia (9) and I decided to explore the shop. Once inside, we were greeted by a beautifully presented and well stocked boutique specializing in every type of Western clothing and apparel. I was amazed by the selection and the quality of the merchandise.  Antonio Arenas, the proprietor, and his family were so friendly. He knows everything there is to know about boots of all types and styles, as well as about Western clothing and accessories. As I looked at rows of cowboy boots, each different and gorgeous, I laughed about the old saying that if you buy a new outfit you will want a new pair of shoes. Here it is reversed. Once you buy a pair of Antonio’s well made cowboy boots, you’ll want to buy the outfit to match.

BstBets_LttlRnchOwnr.jpgHis impressive selection of boots includes well known labels such as Tony Lama, Lucchese, Justin, Dan Post and Nocina. And he carries styles and sizes for men, women and children. The entire family can strut out from his store wearing a range of colors, textures and shapes. He also sells Levi and Wrangler jeans in many shades, including black, and they are appropriately boot cut. The array of Western and cowboy shirts that he has is almost dizzying.  They come in a variety of colors and range from plain, to slightly embroidered, to some that were clearly works of art. And to top off your outfit, his selection of cowboy hats is awesome!  From Stetson to Resitol, they can all be found here and in a large variety of styles and colors.  I saw one hat that would definitely win the approval of Nathan Williams and the Cha Cha’s. Belts and belt buckles, jewelry, vests, jackets and more fill every nook and cranny.

I chatted for a while with Antonio and learned that the BID hopes to work with the building owner to renovate this block of storefronts which will help better promote this excellent store. His customers come from all over. Some love the feel and look of good quality cowboy boots. Some enjoy something special for parties and events and some are part of a growing group who love to learn line dancing and other western dance styles and want to have the outfit to go with it.  He suggested that I check out one of the increasing number of dance studios opening downtown to see which were now offering line dancing classes.

Whatever you are seeking, or if you just love checking out great boutiques, visit the Little Ranch and tell Antonio we said hi!

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