Monday, November 10, 2014

Harry's Men's Wear Grand Opening – November 2, 1950

Here's an ad for a well-remembered, iconic Lorain business – Harry's Men's Wear – that ran in the Lorain Journal on November 2, 1950 – the eve of its Grand Opening. Every Lorain male shopped at Harry's Men's Wear at some time or another.

As the above ad noted, owner Harry Levine was the manager of Fisher Brothers Department Store before opening his own business that would prove to be a linchpin of Downtown Lorain for decades.

At the time of his passing at age 63 in late December 1977, Harry Levine was remembered as follows in a touching Journal obituary. It read, "Harry Levine was a fixture on Broadway and around Lorain. In recent years his stocky figure and silvery beard reminded everyone of someone you would expect to see on that other Broadway in New York.

"He loved people and he loved to talk with them. "Come and see me," he'd say, "I've got something (clothing) just made for you.

"Harry Levine was a mix of joy and style in business. His store was among the first to take on class on a street that desperately needed class. He was honored for his efforts long ago but maybe his efforts were as instrumental in an urban renewal project for downtown Lorain as all the later events proved to be. Levine was a do'er and not just a talker.

"Born Dec 2, 1914 in New Castle, Pa., he had resided in Lorain 42 years and made his home at 2647 Skyline Drive. A U.S. Navy World War II veteran, he had come to Lorain after graduating from Geneva College, Pennsylvania, where he studied education. Prior to starting his business, he spent 10 years managing a chain clothing store in Lorain with his wife, Jennie.

"He was a member of Agudath B'nai Israel Temple, B'Nai Brith, Jewish War Veterans and Lorain Elks No. 1301."

I didn't know that at one point, Harry's Men's Wear actually had two locations. In the late 1970s, there was a second store at 371 Broad Street in Elyria.

The Levine family continued to operate the store at 700 Broadway for a number of years after the death of its founder. It finally closed in the mid-1980s, disappearing from the Lorain city directory in the 1986 edition.

700 Broadway today
(Courtesy Lorain County Auditor)
Harry's Men's Wear and Mr. Levine undoubtedly live on in the memories of countless Lorainites.


Bill Rees said...

i started to shop at Harrys in the middle 50's. Levi jeans were only $5.oo a pair for several years. great memory Dan, great guy, great store!

Mike Kozlowski said...

..Oh yes, DEFINITELY remember Harry's! Now, my question is, where was the Fisher Brothers Dept Store mentioned in the ad?


Anonymous said...

Good ol' Harry's! No one could measure an inseam like the folks at Harry's...

--Lazlo Cozart, Sr.