As we look back on 2023, this may be the year that cowboy boots and modern Western wear didn't make you stand out among the masses in Connecticut, and I think I found out why when I was in Manchester.

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If you've never left the Northeast, or Googled 'Ariat' or 'Carhartt' after watching Yellowstone, you've probably never heard of Boot Barn. But you will, Boot Barn is the largest lifestyle retailer of Western and workwear in the US, and they've had a store open in Manchester since January. This is not your average truck stop retailer, with 40 t-shirts with howling wolves and dreamcatchers. No, you can purchase luxurious boots that cost thousands of dollars, authentic dusters that would make Rip say "Leave him alone", and funky Santa-Fe earth tones that look so out of place in Bristol, they work.

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Hartford has always had the rebels that lived the county lifestyle, they only listen to 92.5, hit the Cadillac Ranch religiously, and make the Summers at Xfinity interesting. There have always been a ton of good old boys that work at Pratt & Whitney, pick up some gear at the Cabela's next door, jump in the F350 and blast the Chesney, but it's really rare in Connecticut. You may see that scenario in Torrington, but not in Hamden.

And I just found out that another one is coming. The second Boot Barn in our area will be opening up in West Springfield, Massachusetts sometime in the near future. They're currently hiring for an assistant store manager, it was posted on Ziprecruiter just yesterday.

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