It’s a warm summer night in Portsmouth. You and your pals are leisurely floating along the Piscataqua River on one of Portsmouth’s iconic tugboats. Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it? This was actually a “thing” in the 1990’s, when a seacoast couple owned and operated a local tugboat - giving tours on the river with the Portsmouth’s skyline as its backdrop.
In addition to providing tugboat tours, Natalie and Bob Hassold owned a small nautical-themed boutique on Ceres Street called Tugboat Alley - one of Portsmouth’s most well-known downtown shops.
Flash-forward 18 years - Natalie and Bob are looking for a change, and decide to sell the business they founded in 1995 to fellow New Englander Tony Onofaro. Tony had been working in the corporate finance world for 30 years and was looking for a change himself. He became the proud owner of the independent retail shop in October 2013.
Today, Tugboat Alley is located on Bow Street where the shop’s windows gaze out at Portsmouth’s famous fleet of tugboats. Carrying a variety of seacoast-themed apparel, coastal-inspired novelties, and nautical home decor for avid boaters and ocean enthusiasts alike, it’s a great spot for gifts. Does anyone else hear wedding bells?
Tugboat Alley also offers a beautiful selection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and baseball hats. Some of our favorite current styles are featured in this post!
Being a downtown shop owner, Tony always looks forward to beautiful sunny days when the decks are open and there is added excitement in the city. The doors to the shop are wide open and people are smiling and laughing as they stroll the brick-paved streets of Portsmouth. Ahhh…. summer on the seacoast!
A FEW FUN FACTS…
1. Tony designs a lot of the apparel and hats sold at Tugboat Alley himself. He does have a knack for trendy styles, don’t you agree??
2. One of Tugboat Alley’s best-selling items is its tide clocks! Tony says they are a rarity around here.
3. This summer’s style forecast: Stripes are IN!
Special thanks to Frankie (@beauty_byfrankie) for being such a great model for Tugboat Alley's clothing!!