Walnut Beach, a once seemingly forgotten part of the city, grew a bit more this past weekend with the grand opening of a new shop that rents scooters, bicycles and kayaks.
Tina Pritchard and her husband, Brian Finch, opened Scoot & Paddle at the end of Naugatuck Avenue just steps away from the beach and Long Island Sound.
The shop opened in May but held its official opening Saturday, with a ribbon-cutting, refreshments and product demonstrations.
The first shop of its kind in Milford, Scoot & Paddle adds to the touristy beach theme slowly emerging in the Walnut Beach corner. The shop rents kayaks ($40 half day/$75 full day), motor scooters ($65 half day/$95 full day), bicycles ($12 an hour/$35 full day) and stand-up paddleboards ($45 half day/$75 full day).
Hourly and weekend prices are available too. A $200 cash or credit deposit is required on the scooters but there is no deposit required on the other equipment.
Pritchard said she lives in the Walnut Beach area and thought the area really needed a shop like this that fits in with the fun beach atmosphere.
Her shop brochure points out interesting places customers may visit in the area, whether by scooter, kayak or bicycle. The brochure notes that “Milford has the most shoreline in the state of Connecticut. Walnut Public Beach and Silver Sands State Park are within minutes from each other and connected by a beautiful mile-long boardwalk offering stunning views of Long Island Sound.”
The city green — the second largest in New England — is noted too, as is the Milford Audubon Coastal Center and the summer time festivals and fairs.
“I live in the neighborhood and I wanted to be part of the community,” Pritchard said, pointing to the increasing number of shops around her — from art galleries to a book shop and ice cream parlor, lobster eatery and more.
May was a rainy month, but the shop rented bicycles to visitors, and now it looks as though kayak rentals will start picking up, Pritchard said.
In addition to the rentals, Scoot & Paddle sells beach necessities, like sun block, bags made from recycled sail cloths, candles, shoes and more.
The shop’s website advertises group paddlling excursions, with 10% off a kayak rental — or bring your own kayak.
The store is open Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 9 to 7; Saturday and Sunday 8 to 7; closed Mondays. To reserve rentals, call 203-713-8282. For more information, go to scootandpaddle.com.