At the edge of Main Street in Cold Spring, right before the train tracks, sits a store and a sound. The sound is music: opera solos, jazz riffs, old country melodies, even mariachi guitars. The store is Chapeau, meaning hat in French, and also — in this case — well done or bravo, as in a tip of the hat.
Owner Archie Broady came from Brownsville, Brooklyn, to open this upscale variety store that reflects his own values, stemming from his city roots and vast travel experience. Archie lives right next to his store in Cold Spring, and stocks the store full of, well, whatever he enjoys.
“The only things that go into the store are things I like,” says Broady, with a laugh, “It’s a very selfish store.” But that’s okay, because Broady has exquisite taste. He likes clothes, pottery, furniture, books, and objects which can stand alone in an empty room and look drop-dead gorgeous.
He likes something that is unique and that has meaning. And he likes anything that is beautifully crafted. Some of his featured items include wooden bow ties, complex woven chairs resembling thrones, and small bronze cats which stand guard on coffee tables.
“The only things that go into the store are things I like… It’s a very selfish store.”
This is a personal store, which was founded for personal reasons. Broady opened Chapeau in 2018 after seven years of caring for his struggling mother. These years took a toll on him, and he needed a place to recover. Chapeau is that refuge, where self-expression is welcomed through items.
Broady aims to share the things he loves with those who share a similar appreciation for them, even if that means not necessarily conducting regular business.
“I have stuff in the store that’s free. It doesn’t say free, but if someone brings it up to the counter to buy it, I’ll tell them to take it,” says Broady.
This attitude reflects how he values the idea that there are items in one’s life which can define who you are. Broady aims to have those items ever present within his store. Also, by having a passion for local art and a passion to display local art, he expresses his opinions about how life should be lived.
“Love God, love yourself, get over yourself, and love someone else.”