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Brooks Brothers Closes Its Doors, But Leaves Hope for Return

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, March 22, 2010, at 05:51PM
Brooks Brothers Ed Fuentes

When Lawyer Samuel Terry went back to work from a late lunch, he decided to purchase a shirt. He didn't know he was walking in to Brook Brothers its the final day. "It's sad to see this place go," he says.

Except for the sign at the door thanking customers, and advising them of other locations, there's no sign of any urgency. Some corners of the store were empty, and by Friday and Saturday boxes were ready to be shipped to the company's Beverly Hills Store.

Items were still folded carefully or hung with great care, and a very well tailored staff with measuring tapes draped across their neck stood waiting to check inseams.

The aura of the long-time downtown clothier remained dignified in its final days. If items would even take a small dive south, that would be such a sign of despair and management simply won't have it.

The message is so Brooks Brothers.

The store has occupied a number of different Downtown spaces over the years. It opened in November of 1939, with a sales office on the 7th floor of the Pacific Mutual building at 6th and Olive. By 1947 the store had moved to 714 S. Hill, and in 1948 it could be found at the Roosevelt Building, 727 W. 7th.

They expanded the store in 1958, but then in May of 1965 opened a "fine new major branch" at 7th and Grand, in the space that now holds Bottega Louie. The old logo text could still be seen until the Brockman building's recent renovation.

The current location at Figueroa and Wilshire opened in 1989.

Still, 71 years of tradition isn't necessarily lost. In an email this afternoon to the Downtown News, Claudio Del Vecchio, the company's chairman & CEO, said that the firm had hoped to open in the Grand Avenue Project, but ran out of time in their current lease. "We are actively searching for alternate locations in the event that the Grand doesn’t come to fruition," he told the paper.

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