Thrill of the Hunt
A tucked-away North End shop specializes in manly American-made gear—like Indiana Jones’s boots.
Believe it or not, Mark Bollman sells a lot of deer-grunt calls, which his customers for some reason use on pub crawls. Those hunting aids are made in America, as is everything else Bollman stocks in his man’s-man store, Ball and Buck. Hidden on a North End side street, the cozy space — a pub and a coffee shop in past lives — features tin ceilings and an antique ram’s head mounted above the register.
Ball and Buck has its own in-house line of rugged basics — belts, sandals, pocket T-shirts — but you’ll also find a “denim wall” offering styles from Tellason and Left Field; Randolph Engineering sunglasses; Baxter candles; and more for what the Babson grad calls the “working hunter male.”
Bollman says he selects only purpose-built items for his shop. “If you had to pack your last suitcase…we would want every item to come from our store.” For fall, he plans to carry layering pieces, such as a cotton field jacket by Apolis, plus new Ball and Buck chinos and heavier-weight tartan oxfords. And look for shoes from Massachusetts company Alden: loafers, and both chukka and “Indy” boots. Harrison Ford — an Alden fan from his pre-Hollywood carpentry days, or so the story goes — chose the latter style for the Indiana Jones movies.
The mid-rise, lace-up leather boot is a classic, Bollman says. “It’s something every guy should have, which is this store in a nutshell.”
3 Lewis St., Boston, 617-742-1776, ballandbuck.com.