05 February 2009

A Pretend Old Business Closes

For a few year's now, I have passed the clothing store known oddly at Phil's 1908, at the southeast corner of Third Avenue and 59th, and wondered: "What is this place? It looks kinda old, but I've never heard of it. Is it a secret relic I've overlooked?" It had "1908" on the awning. I assumed that was the year it was founded; why else have the number there? And "Phil's" sounded like a very old-time, garment-district name for a clothier.

I never took the time to get to the bottom of it. Then, yesterday, I noticed it had shut its doors forever. Finally, I sat down and did my research.

So how old was Phil's 1908? Five years old.

I wasn't wrong to think it was older, however. That was the intention of designer and store owner Philip Pravda. The shop was "designed with turn of the century architecture in mind and resembles New York City brownstones of the 1900's," according to a 2004 article.

As for the date, said Pravda: "My great-grandfather started in this business in 1908, four generations later I want all men to experience our fit."

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