INDUSTRY LOST AN IMPORTANT HAT RETAILER - ARNOLD
We just found out that Arnold Hatters (a retail
hat institution for many years) closed their doors
this month at 535 8th Ave in New York City. If
you remember, this is the hat retailer that was
forced out of their original NYC location (after
many years) by The New York Times Company.
It seemed that Arnold Hatters never regained
their retail footing. We are sorry to see them
go – and hope that someday we will see them
This is what was on their website:
all of our dear friends and customers,
Due to the worsening condition of the economy,
we have had to close our doors and go out of business.
We're very grateful for your patronage over the
God bless you all,
Arnold, Peter and Mark Rubin
We also found a wonderful blog (Lost City) that
talks about the demise of Arnolds Hatters at:
Here are some excerpts of the blog-story about
the store closing:
“Getting the week off to a gloomy start
is Jeremiah's Vanishing New York absolutely abysmal
news that Arnold Hatters, one of the oldest and
last remaining haberdasheries left in the city,
has closed its doors for good, after 83 years.
Arnold Hatters was a personal favorite of mine
among the old-time businesses in New York, partly
because I am a hat-wearer myself and frequent
such places at JJ Hat Center and Worth & Worth
on a fairly steady basis. I've spoken to Arnold
Rubin, and his sons Mark and Paul Rubin, on many
occasions. All very nice, salt-of-the-earth people.
In retrospect, the shop's fate was sealed when
they were forced to move from their longtime
perch on Eighth Avenue across from Port Authority.
The block was seized for the New York Times'
new tower, and the Rubin's were sent packing.
They landed in a far-less-visible storefront
further down Eighth, near 37th. The Rubin’s
were philosophical about the hand of cards dealt
them, but were also fairly vocal about their
anger against the Paper of Record. Mark told
JVNY: "I'm positive if I was still in the
old location, I'd be weathering this economy.
Instead, with three kids and a mortgage, I'm
writing the first resume of my life....
Some history. Arnold Hatters was always a family
business. It was founded in 1926 by Mark Rubin's
great uncle, Irving Garten. He opened his first
store in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and soon after
opened additional stores in Manhattan. Garten
got out of the business when Prohibition ended,
and he learned he could make more money selling
booze than hat. He gave the hat business to his
brother-in-law Sidney Jacobson. Sidney opened
more stores, eventually moving the whole business
to Midtown. There was once a store right on the
corner of 42nd and Seventh Avenue.
Arnold Rubin didn't intend to sell hats all
his life. He went into ship repair and worked
for the Navy. But in the early '70s, he went
to work for Uncle Sidney. The Eighth Avenue store
opened in 1960. In 1990, it, too, almost disappeared
when Sidney decided to throw in the towel. But
Arnold gathered some loans and credit and reopened
the Eighth Avenue store.
For most of its life, the store had a sign over
it that said, not Arnold Hatters, but Knox Hats.
Explanation: Uncle Sidney had a deal with Knox
Hats, once a hat manufacturing concern, to stock
a certain percentage of hats from the company.
In exchange, Knox paid part of the rent. The
arrangement was common at one time, resulting
in Stetson stores, Dobbs stores, etc. The Rubin’s
never changed the sign over the years, because
they didn't want to confuse customers.”
and Arnold Rubin in the previous location
in the theatre district