New Haven may still be too hot for winter wear, but L.L.Bean received a warm welcome at its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.

In the presence of many city officials including Mayor Toni Harp, Yale University Properties hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally welcome L.L.Bean to The Shops at Yale and to New Haven.

The Maine-based outdoor retailer, perhaps best known for its signature L.L.Bean Boots, recently opened its newest retail store in the Broadway Shopping and Dining District at The Shops at Yale in New Haven. The two-level store features an assortment of active and casual apparel, outerwear and footwear and gear for outdoor enthusiasts. The new store has about 20 employees.

David DelVecchio, director of real estate asset management for Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs and University Properties, told the News that even though the store opened a month ago, the event was held out of “goodwill,” since Yale never held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new shop. At the ceremony, Lauren Zucker, associate vice president for New Haven Affairs and University Properties, touted L.L.Bean’s commitment to quality, customer service and true love of the outdoors, saying that Yale is “committed” to promoting the Elm City’s economic development.

“I expect New Haven shoppers will take to this store like a duck boot to water,” Harp said at the ceremony. “It cannot be understated how welcome this brand-new building is to the city streetscape.”

Above the two-level store, the builders also created new graduate student housing, which Harp said underscores Yale’s commitment to provide adequate accommodations for students arriving in New Haven from all over the world.

In her speech, Zucker said the store plans to host multiple free outdoor activities in order to better integrate into the community.

“New Haven offers outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities, from paddling rivers and streams, to hiking in nearby state parks, to walking through the Green,” Greg Elder, vice president of stores at L.L.Bean said in a statement. “We’re excited to bring our outdoor expertise to The Shops at Yale and help everyone in the New Haven area enjoy the outdoors we all share.”

Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19, who also spoke at the event, said nobody is more excited about the store than him, joking that the construction woke him up every morning last year.

Catalbasoglu ended with one question: What is Yale University Properties going to put in the empty property next to L.L.Bean?

Immediately following the ceremony, five lucky attendees, chosen by raffle, each received a free pair of L.L.Bean Boots.

The store is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ashna Gupta |

Isabel Bysiewicz |