Classic men’s clothing store sold | News, Sports, Jobs

From left to right, Jimmy Williams, Tom Finnigan and Johnny Williams smile inside TF Finnigan’s in August 2018. The Williams brothers had just bought out the men’s clothing store in Finnigan, whose grandfather had opened it 95 years ago. The custom interior woodwork is original. (Business photo – Peter Crowley)

SARANAC LAKE – Tom Finnigan called the Enterprise right after the case closed on Thursday. He had just sold his men’s clothing store and apartment building to local pub owners Jimmy and Johnny Williams.

Finnigan was excited. After all, TF Finnigan has been in his family for 95 years and three generations. His grandfather, also named Thomas F. Finnigan, opened it at this location in the heart of downtown (79 Main Street) in 1923. Thomas F. Finnigan Jr. took it over from his father, and Tom – alias Thomas F. Finnigan III – has directed it for the past 35 years.

“As a young man, I was not interested” Tom said Thursday. He left home to attend Middlebury College and St. Lawrence University, and worked at “Various jobs in the public and private sector” before joining the family business.

He tried to sell the store for several years and wanted someone to maintain the business as well as the building. He was happy to sell it to the Williams brothers, who were born and raised in Saranac Lake, moved to California for college and continued their careers elsewhere before Johnny returned to open the Bitters & Bones bar and restaurant at 65 Broadway. in 2015. He and Jimmy, who returned home about a month ago, own the tavern with their friend Osita Ezumah.

“It will stay with people who are really motivated by the historical aspects of our village”, Finnigan said.

The cash register still used to make purchases at TF Finnigan’s was originally in the store in 1923. (Company Photo – Peter Crowley)

At the store with Finnigan soon after, the brothers said they plan to keep the store pretty much as is, with the same staff and Tom helping out as well.

“We will try to keep TF Finnigan alive and well for years to come”, said Jimmy, 39.

“We have immense respect for what Tom’s family has done, and we want to continue the tradition”, added Johnny, 32.

“I had other opportunities that I wasn’t crazy about, but when they came up I saw their strong commitment to [the community], “ Finnigan said. “I said, ‘Yeah, that’s it.'”

The brothers and Finnigan declined to quote the purchase price.

TF Finnigan’s is known among locals as a place to rent a tuxedo or buy a suit, but it sells both casual and formal men’s clothing. Its prices are high for many locals – Saranac Lake has a median family income of $ 43,000, up from $ 57,600 nationally, according to the Census Bureau – but Finnigan has said in the past that’s because clothes were of high quality.

He said the store was profitable and 2017 was the best year ever, both in terms of profit margin and gross sales. He attributes this to his mix of regularly updated merchandise as well as his mix of customers: locals, visitors, second home owners and people from across the region.

The store opened at a time when Saranac Lake’s economy had become a vacation spot and a place to heal from tuberculosis.

“My dad told me… there were 17 millionaires in Saranac Lake, so think about what a millionaire was in the 1920s” Finnigan said. “It was a very rich community.

Atop the stone facade of the three-story building is the year it was built, 1900. The ground floor was originally occupied by a dentist’s office, then a bakery, Bruzzo’s Confectionery, before become TF Finnigan’s. Upstairs are apartments whose balconies fill up during the Winter Carnival parades.

The facade hasn’t really changed over the years, as old photos show in a frame inside the store. Inside, the mahogany and cherry wood paneling, custom-made for the original store in 1923, still lines the walls, as well as the cloakroom discreetly hidden in a corner, the desk at the top of a few steps at the back and the reception desk. the box. On this counter is the original 1923 cash register, which the store still uses. It strikes a chord with every purchase.

“It’s not the best for us, but the customers love it so much that we keep it” Finnigan said. “We’re spending all the old-fashioned accounting to get the spreadsheets I need. So I don’t know what Jimmy and John’s plans are, what to do with them.

“We were just talking to the accountant when we were doing the closing”, Johnny said, And he said, ‘So you’re definitely going to have a point of sale system? And we said, “Oh, we’d love” and he kind of nodded, like, “So you go…” Because this thing goes up to $ 99.99, and that’s it. You can’t ring for more than $ 100.

If, for example, someone buys a costume for $ 600, Finnigan said the cashier has to call up seven separate purchases: one for every $ 100 and one for tax.

The brothers are busy; They also plan to expand Bitters & Bones into a craft brewery, with the help of a $ 10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant the governor announced here on August 7. They said the tavern was doing well, but the income alone was not enough. to buy Finnigan’s.

“Johnny and I have been saving for some time, and this is where we chose to invest our savings” Jimmy said.

So will Bitters customers be more stylish in the future?

“We were talking about having a nice glow, and then we went over to Finnigan to prepare for your weekend. “ Johnny joked.

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