I was having a beer at the Rum House on W. 47th Street, when I noticed this picture on the wall. The words "Knox Hats" immediately grabbed my attention. Arnold Hatters, the great old Midtown hat store that closed late last month, had a sign like that above their store. (They once carried Knox Hats, and people came to think that was the actual name of the store, so they kept the sign up.)
I asked the waitress about the picture. She said it was given to the bar by a longtime regular, a guy who owned a hat store that had closed a few weeks ago. This was a picture of the store his family had once owned on 42nd Street.
Bells went off inside my head! Was Arnold Rubin the name of the regular? Was Arnold Hatters the name of the store? Yes and Yes. (I could see Arnold in the Rum House; it's his kind of place.) I remember, when talking to the Rubins in the past, that Arnold's uncle had owned a chain of hat stores, not just one, and one of them was on 42nd Street, just west of Broadway. Could this be it?
The name above Knox Hats troubled me, though. Scott Hatters. There was no one named Scott in the Rubin clan. But the address, 201, was right. That's right at the northwest corner of 42nd and Broadway. Maybe Arnold's uncle bought out an existing store called Scott Hatters. After all, the family was in the habit of leaving up old signs.
Nice looking store. Take note of the reflection of an old Kentucky Fried Chicken store in the window.