Olw Shop in New Haven, Connecticut was originally opened on Wall Street in 1934 by Joseph St.John who came to America from Greece in 1925. Beginning originally as a bookstore, he was also selling tobacco and mixing his own blends. In 1937, a second store on College Street was opened by Joseph and his wife Catherine.
In 1946 St.John and his brother-in-law George Photakis, also of Greek descent, established The Owl Shop on 416 Main St in Worcester, Mass. Photakis' early fame based on widely appreciated house brands of pipe tobaccos such as Harkness Tower, Bay State House or WB #3.
Son John Photakis entered the family business in the late 1970s. He had been to New York City for education in different pipe & tobacco shops and had learned the art of pipemaking from some old school pipemakers. Some of them were already retired and thus reluctant to instruct a new apprentice once again, but nevertheless John convinced them with perseverance and talent.
Back home he acquired some tools and machinery and started to make his own line of pipes which were fine interpretations of the classical shapes. The pipes were sold exclusively in the store. His profound knowledge as a pipemaker was a great behoof for any pipe customer of the Owl Shop. Unfortunately John Photakis died in a car accident in his early fifties in 2003. If you happen to find an Owl Shop Premium Natural by John Photakis - don't miss it!
They also purchased some of their store brands, including the Owl Club. Mr. George Photakis confirmed that the Owl Clubs were formerly made by Wally Frank. The Owl Shop's homepage, still operating in 2007, also offered private label pipes produced by Savinelli.