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Fish & Bone: A Place for Chic Cats and Dapper Dogs

By Jeannette Bolden

Newbury Street in Boston is one of the city’s most fashionable shopping areas. Men and women scour the stores day in and day out, looking for the perfect trends and fashions. They are also often seen toting around their furry friends. It is no secret that dogs are a man’s best friend. Luckily, Fish and Bone, a pet store right on Newbury Street, has something for every man’s best pal.

The setup of Fish and Bone is very New- bury Street, with hardwood floors, broad windows, and an inviting wall color. Collars and leashes are displayed atop an old built in fireplace, and other items line the large storefront window. Warm lighting gives the space a soft, welcoming feel. A friendly little pooch sits beside the counter, saying hello to everyone who walks in.

It is this warm feeling that makes Fish and Bone a Newbury Street gem. “We’re more interested in solving problems for customers than in being known as the trendiest store in town,” explained the owner of Fish and Bone, Kathy Palmer. She went on to say that she thinks of the store as her home and considers customers her guests.

Although the store cares about customer service, it is trendy. “We’re modern and stylish but accessible,” said Palmer. Interested in design, she spends time sourcing hip new items and fashions. She is glad that the store can be both hip and homey.

Fish and Bone is currently in the running as Boston’s best pet boutique. Tucked away in a Newbury Street brownstone, the pet store offers slightly higher end products for the pampered pooch. The store’s quaint size does not take away from the large selection of products for both dogs and cats.

Fish and Bone is not a one-trick store, though it sells everything from toys to treats and, of course, apparel for your precious pooch. Palmer was also pleased at the growth in pet food sales. “Our heart and soul is natural foods for cats and dogs, hence the ‘fish’ and the ‘bone’...the icons of a cat and dog’s natural diet,” said Palmer.

Anywhere between their twenties and their sixties in age, the shop’s customers show a broad demographic. Some buyers don’t care about price and will spend any amount on their little buddies, yet there is also the broke college student who wants a great deal. Items are not overpriced and cost the same in the Portland, Maine, store. “Newbury Street definitely informs our demographic. But because we’re a community-oriented store, we cater to residents more than tourists,” said Palmer. She did add, however, that the store carries some novelty tourist items, such as Boston or Lobster products.

So do Newbury clients pamper their pooches? Palmer likes to call their pets “well-tended” rather than spoiled. “A well-tended animal is fed well, loved, and given lots of play and attention,” she added. The Fish and Bone clientele most definitely have well-tended animals.

It’s now time to answer the timeless question: are dogs really man’s best friend? According to Kathy Palmer, the answer is simple: yes. No matter how you are acting, your dog always loves you. When your human friends are grouchy or busy, you have your furry friend to keep you company.

Quite a few men venture into Fish and Bone, sometimes alone, with all different breeds of dogs. But quite often, young couples come in to buy supplies for their new puppies. “Often though, it starts with a couple shopping for their new puppy, a small breed, and the guy is just along for the ride (and fighting against the pink collar, or dog coat)...Then a few weeks later, the guy is the one saying, ‘but no one knows she’s a girl...we have to get her something pink!’” said Palmer. While many men in the Boston area try to keep up their macho Bostonian image, they can’t help but fall in love with a little dog.

Fish and Bone is different from other Newbury Street stores. When you walk in, there’s no need to be up with the latest trends. You never feel unwelcome. Yet if you’re feeling classy and want to keep your best friend well-tended, you don’t have to look any further. Dogs are clearly man’s best friend and deserve to be pampered at Fish and Bone.


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