New plans, new ownership for Davoll’s

Dec 23, 2020

A Dartmouth icon could soon see food service — along with books, clothing, and alcohol — added to its inventory, as brothers Ben and Will Shattuck hope to turn Davoll’s General Store into a cafe-style gathering spot.

The pair were granted a liquor license for the Russells Mills store at a Select Board meeting on Dec. 21.

“I think Ben and Will are showing a lot of faith in Russells Mills and a lot of faith in the town of Dartmouth,” said attorney Peter Bullard. “They’re very much looking forward to investing in their hometown.” 

Located at 1228 Russells Mills Road, the recently renovated building currently houses the store as well as the Wild Honey cafe next door. 

“I think the present owners did a terrific job renovating Davoll’s back in the day when they bought it,” Bullard said.

Current owner Kim Arruda confirmed that the Shattucks are in the process of buying the store.

Artist Ben Shattuck is the director and lead curator of Westport’s Dedee Shattuck Gallery, named after founder and matriarch Dedee Shattuck, who grew up on Barney’s Joy Farm.

Ben and famous actor fiancée Jenny Slate are expecting their first child soon, Slate announced earlier this month.

The Shattucks’ plan, Bullard said, is to keep the Russells Mills Village landmark as a general store that would sell items like books and clothing alongside classic “general provisions” from local farms — and with a small cafe that would sell food and alcohol, too.

Although he supported the project, Vice Chair Shawn McDonald said he was concerned about patrons potentially being overserved and attempting to navigate the intersection.

“It’s not the straightest of narrow paths to get to it,” he said. 

Bullard assured McDonald that the team has “every intention of applying all of those rules and regulations” and noted that he expects the town to “come down hard” if any patrons are overserved. 

Several residents of the South Dartmouth village expressed their support for the new gathering spot.

Joney Swift said that she was “very excited about the prospect.”

“I know those Shattuck boys,” she said. “I’m very much in favor.” 

Neighbor Sarah Srongberg agreed, noting that it would be a great place to exchange ideas and get together.

“This is an opportunity for us to have a new center and we are so thrilled about this,” she said.