clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Introducing Toms Outpost, Elizabeth Street's Most Charitable Store

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Where Noho meets Nolita at the northern end of Elizabeth Street lies Toms Outpost, the brand that's best known for colorful, patterned slip-ons's first location in New York. It's been nearly six months since we first heard about this store, but the wait until its official debut tomorrow morning has definitely been worth it-there's more than just shoes to discover.

Customers are greeted with two lucrative options at the entryway: a café and a seating area on the left, and eyewear on the right. Heading for shopping first—that's what we're here for, right?—find rustic wooden cases filled with men's and women's eyeglasses and sunglasses, plus a hefty selection of unisex styles (though most pairs could really work on anyone). While they don't have eye exams available on-site just yet, they've partnered with a few local optometrists who can help you figure out how far off you are from 20/20. And just like how purchasing a pair of shoes gives a pair to someone in need, Toms donates a pair of eyeglasses when you purchase any type of frames.

If you're looking for a jolt or a snack in the middle of neighborhood browsing, turn to the roasting bar, where you can always find seven different blends of Toms's brand coffee and pastries from Balthazar and Brooklyn's own One Girl Cookies. Get a cold-brew coffee over ice to go to provide a day's worth of water to someone in a clean drinking-challenged area, or buy a bag of beans to bring home to give seven day's worth of hydration.

Then continue down the brick-lined hallway, past the community board announcing local events, that has coat hangers on your left and take-a-book, leave-a-book shelves on your right to get to what you've been expecting: the shoes. Men's, women's, and children's styles (and socks!) are available on either side of the room, with an open middle floor that'll eventually include more seating to create another hangout area within the store.

Also back here? Accessories, clothing like Toms New York tees and criminally soft sweatshirts, and their first-ever bag collection, launched at the end of last week. Ranging in price from $28 to $298 and handcrafted by local artisans, it's the fourth Toms one-for-one product—but it actually helps two lives: each bag purchased provides a birthing kit to an expecting mother, helping to ensure a safe delivery, and training for an attendant in countries including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, and India.

And finally, don't forget to check out the backyard, with partial roof coverage, cool tile work with the brand name, and even an outdoor fireplace—necessary for the cold winter days remaining and cool spring evenings ahead. Be sure to stop in for a tour on the afternoon of opening day (tomorrow, March 3rd), and you'll also be able to grab complimentary coffee, treats, and special discounts.