We’re Open: Saint Petersburg

For a quarter of a century, a store selling all kinds of traditional Russian gifts has served the Brighton Beach community. Despite difficulties from the pandemic, Saint Petersburg is open and prepared for the influx of shoppers they see this time of year.
What started as a bookstore in 1995 morphed into much more two decades later.
A sea of Russian dolls called matroshki line the windows. Traditional shawls of all colors and patterns hang on the walls. Daniel Orlov, whose family owns the store, says one of the most popular gifts is a traditional style of Russian ceramics called gzhel.
Orlov says a customer can stop in to do some holiday shopping and leave with gifts for the whole family.
Saint Petersburg also sells fur hats, known as ushanki, and Russian board games.
Orlov says there was a time when they were scared for their livelihood because of the strain the pandemic put on the business.
He says they’re expecting this holiday season to be different than years prior, but says there is still a desire in this community to bring a Russian touch home for the holidays.