Monday, January 4, 2010

Pat's Mens Wear closes Shop,for good

Thanks to Steve G ( verdunlad,) who informed me of this story of Verdun's own, Pat's Mens Wear closing up shop, it was in the Gazette ( I hadn't seen it,) but here's some of the story from CBC online site:

               Thanks Steve G.(Verdunlad1) I appreciate the idea........

Pat Formal Wear closes shop

A landmark men's clothing store that has dressed thousands of Montrealers since the end of the Second World War has closed its doors for good.

Pat Formal Wear opened at 5425 Verdun St. in 1947. (Google)

Pat Formal Wear on Verdun Street rang up its final sale on Thursday, after 62 years of haberdashery service to teenaged boys and men in search of stylish threads.

For years, the modest family-owned shop in Montreal's western Verdun borough ran a robust business outfitting men in dapper suits and tuxedos, for sale or for rent.

But with the advent of cheap mall clothing, sales have slowly declined in recent years, said Brian Mullins, one of two owners at the store.

The competition proved to be too much, Mullins told CBC.

"It's coming from shopping centres. Then they put meters on the streets, then the Royal Bank closed next door. Everything is changing."

Mullins, who runs the store with his brother Barry, said their retail demise isn't isolated. Verdun was once home to 16 men's clothing stores — now there are two.

Their father, Patrick Mullins, opened the store in 1947, and sold it to his sons after running the shop for three decades.

Brian Mullins estimates that he's taught hundreds and hundreds of men how to tie a tie in his 32 years working at the shop.

Hundreds and hundreds of Montreal teenagers have rented prom tuxedos here over the years. (CBC)

That kind of personal service bred loyal clients, many of whom visit the store regularly just to say hello.

"Whenever I'm in Verdun, I'm dropping by, and I've been dropping by, my goodness, for 20 years," said Ivan Livingstone, who was a Montreal Alouettes receiver from 1957 to 1960.

"To find another place like this will be difficult," said James Watson, another longtime customer.

"It certainly leaves a big hole in the community, especially in Verdun, because it was so well known," said Barry Holdbrook, who shopped at Pat Formal Wear for more than four decades.

The Mullins have liquidated most of their stock and say they will donate everything else to charity.



Les F said...

There was a time when Verdun was home to 16 men's clothing stores, but that number will be reduced to two in the new year.

What Patrick Mullins established as Pat's Mens and Boys Wear in May 1947 and evolved into Pat Formal Wear Rental under sons Brian and Barry will close for good around noon tomorrow.

The brothers, who in 1978 bought the company from their father - "The Irish don't give, they sell," Brian said with a smile - saw the beginning of the end of the formal-wear rental business in the late 1990s.

The proliferation of shopping centres and the reduction of pedestrian traffic in front of their Verdun Ave. store when a nearby Royal Bank branch closed about 15 years ago contributed to declining revenues.

"The tuxedo business is down everywhere," Brian said yesterday, pointing to a tiny section under Formal Wear in the local Yellow Pages, listings that used to take up at least a full page.

At 68, he is retiring after having worked in the family business since he was 18. He's looking forward to spending some time this winter on a warm beach.

His 59-year-old brother, who worked for the patriarch for a decade before becoming a partner with Brian, will dedicate his time to what has been a sideline for the past 35 years: designing commercial window displays under his firm Elegant Displays.

Brian recalled that his father, who at 94 is still well-dressed and a strong table-tennis player, used to take a bus to St. Laurent Blvd. to buy from clothing manufacturers.

"A lot of them used to tell him he wouldn't make it, but 62 years later we were still here and most of those manufacturers are long gone," Brian said.

Barry boasted the family business has survived a pair of recessions, an armed robbery and loss of its apostrophe because of Bill 101 and the sign law.

The landmark haberdashery, while still run by the senior Mullins, used to sport a sign in the window declaring: "Customers wanted, no experience necessary."

Patrick set up his store in that block because his sister Jocelyn had a hat shop there and the family - he has two daughters - used to live in an apartment above Pat's.

His sons credit the business for helping put their children through university.

"This has given them a good education," Brian said between visits from loyal customers dropping by to say how sad they are the business is closing and to wish the brothers well.

Following in their father's footsteps as far as contributing to the community - the elder Mullins sponsored sports teams in the early days - the siblings are donating all unsold inventory to St. Thomas More and St. Willibrord churches.

"You have to give to receive," Brian said.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
Thanks Again to Steve (verdunlad ) for the headsup on this Verdun Story:

Les F said...

Garment Industry Jan 4, '10 6:23 PM
Only a few shots of a clothing factory on Saint Hubert Street,and a couple of an olden day Clothing Drive....... Montreal was once a huge garment center....and of course we all shopped along the Main didn't we.
... 'have I got a deal for you' ... whadya think , I give away clothes for nothing.....(shrug shoulders here, & make a sour face..........hahahahah & speak with an accent like Jackie Mason....

Jim Patterson said...

Both my brother, Norman and myself, had accounts at Pat's for many years. In fact the wedding party on my wedding day back in May 1975 were outfitted with tuxes from Pat's.
I dropped in last week to wish both Bryan and Barry farewell and to reminesce a little about the "good old days". Bryan is off to Florida for a well deserved break before returning to take up residence in Toronto.
Barry is remaining in Quebec just recently having moved from DDO to Baie D'urfe.
Best of luck to both of them and their families.

Jim Patterson
Jim Patterson

Les F said...

Nice update Jim , Thanks for the info. HF&RV

Glenn Larkin said...

I am quite certain that my Tux rental for High School Grad party came from Pat's. Walked by that store front a thousand times.

walter krysiak said...

Rich Michelle said...

i think everyone knew pats menswear store.there was also a mens clothes store on wellington near third or fourth that provided credit or lay away.

walter krysiak said...

living in verdun the last few months, i found old freinds at new verdun restaurant, at times at the rex
the bingo now thats a place, all types go there, waitress is over 70 years old, cool server yet she
forgets a few orders at times. hard to park around there, new verdun restaurant very easy parking because of parking meters.
bobby i know, told me he has 4 tow trucks, the city pays him a flat fee 80.00 per hour for towing cars during snow storms in verdun.he made good the last week, verdun has no more parking
since a kid, my mom always shopped on the main, warsaw grocery, then have lunch at the main, or schawrz, i know pete and stanley, last week i sat with pete and enjoyed a 20 oz rib steak for 19.95
pete is doing well from his heart condition, stanley passed away, at one time it was full of polish jews
owning shops, today they are all gone, most sold, or inherited so the place is totaly not the same
a new generation of cafes, bars, restaurants, high end clothing shops,
i went there new years nite, the place was booming.
back to verdun, verdun isn't the same also, living here you see the difference, i asked a few verduners how do you afford these rents, they tell me several live together.

pauline garneau said...

Andre shopped at Grants on Wellington. Another great place for men’s clothing that has long gone. Grant and Barbara Robinson were our neighbours in Brossard .I remember Barbara helping me convince my son Greg ( in tears )on his first days of school that he would be just fine. We walked home together and she wiped my tears. Wow that must have been in 1972 . Thanks for that memory. Pauline

Les F said...

Grant's thanks pony,.I was trying to remember what the name of that store verdunvisitor meant.
I can remember buying a shirt ( that I thought was cool at the wasn't hahahaha) but I paid for it on a credit type thing ,it took a few weeks & it was paid for. This shirt was in the '60's I think it was called a Neru or Nero shirt ,.Yikes......hahahahaha Thanks to both of you for the memory prompt

Les F said...

Here's 3 stages of Warshaw's old familiar storefront or sign:



Old Warshaw's disappeared off the scene in 2002,as did a few other longtime business's,
the City has been changing a lot over the years & the things we once took for granted have now slipped into the history books,& new business' have taken their place, --- c'est le vie, HF&RV

Les F said...

here's an article from the Montreal Gazette back in the '60's talking about various things ,one of them being the Warshaw's which started as a fruit stand,then in the '60s was considered a SuperMarket,later they went on to sell all kinds of items (not unlike Wal-Mart,on a much smaller scale of course),5503312&dq=warshaw's&hl=en
Also is mentioned in the article that the European pronunciation of Warshaw's ,comes from the City of Poland, somehow the pronunciation found it's way onto the sign with a letter 'H' added to it.


walter krysiak said...

grovers still to this day is doing good for business, the store expanded and you can go on line
so anyone that left verdun can buy on the line.

Les F said...

Funny you mention that Walter, I did checkout their store online the other day ,you can do a virtual tour,but it's really a presentation of their store's products, Still it looks quite neat & orderly, it's a lot larger than I remember from my Verdun days,...I have some old photo's & some new of Grover's I will look for them & post them later. They also had a store on Saint Catherines way back.
I looked them up the other day when we posted the Pat's Means Wear story .
Thanks for the idea on Warshaw's & the mappope site.....................HF&RV

Ron Chapdelaine said...

That store on Wellington may have been Mac's mens wear operated by Leon Crystal and his father. They also sponored a fastball team circa 1968-69 at Willibrord Park that I played on.


Les F said...

Ok now that sounds familiar too......I'm thinking near 4th av on Wellington,it had a striped awning,that would pool up after a rain ( as did a lot of the awnings on Wellington storefronts.Now I'm not sure which one gave us credit or pay as you go ....Thanks Ron
Anyone know which was which I'm thinking on the river side of Wellington near 4th ???

Les F said...

.and here's a quick .47 seconds of what the back of Warshaw's looks like now,after some 'artists' decorated the back wall with Grafitti............

..........I have to admit ,it's well done, but I wonder if some of these little 'Artists' will Really Appreciate the same thing done to their own property (if they ever own any)...hahahaha HF&RV

robert jomphe said...

It sure looked like some guy was fed up with Graffiti a few weeks ago when a body was found in the river of a such "artist" It was bound to happen people are fed up of this stuff. Scribble on your schoolbooks like we did.

Les F said...

Another well known place & activity:,440866&dq=montreal+pool+room&hl=en

Les F said...

the headline reads "The Main" home for immigrants.....,4154774&dq=schwartz+smoke+meat&hl=en
Also if you scroll just above the Home for Immigrants headline you will read just below a photo of the Montreal pool Room that the Montreal Pool Room used to sell steamies for .05 cents each in the '60's ..........that's cheap.even for then.

robert jomphe said...

The montreal pool room also had corn on the cob in season I don't remember the price but I do remember that the fries were quite good also, especially late in the evening more like morning.

walter krysiak said...

the montreal pool room is still open, all others are closed down along the strip, the entire block is readdy for demo, but the montreal pool room and the strip bar don't want to sell.
the place looks like a scary dump, ll belle provance hotdog is on the cotner of st catherine and st laurant
they are the king of hot dog, the new generation.

walter krysiak said...

marketing has done a great job destroying mom and pop shops, people are trained to look at price not quailty. if the item is cheaper i'll pay it, it looks the same yet its not the same quailty. i now the flooring business well, you look the carpet you want color style pay the price, the owner will find the cheaper carpet and you wouldn't know the difference. now you know why you got a much cheaper estimate.
the quailty of service, product is gone now its just looking at the price, thats the real reason those little shops are closing, why go to pats, i can go to walmart with my walmart credit card
i can even get groceries at walmart, paint, snow blower.
i continue to this day to shop at local little stores, never shopped at walmart, costco, all those killer stores for just the price, in the coming months more unemployment coming all because of price.
just my pertsonal thoughts of seeing local places closing down because of price not the quailty of service and product. i can spot a walmart shopper a block away from the walmart outfit they got on a great price..

Les F said...

What a wonder 'Made in China ' is displacing North American goods
big time. This monster transports goods across the Pacific in about 5 days!!! Check this out built for Wal-Mart & it has 7 sister ships ,it also doesn't fit through the Panama Canal,it's built soley for Trans-Pacific crossings only:
This is how Wal-Mart gets it's stuff from China . 15,000 containers and a
207' deck beam! The crew-size: 13 people on a ship longer than a US aircraft
carrier (which has a crew of 5,000). Notice that 207' beam means it cannot fit through the Panama or Suez Canals . It is strictly transpacific. Cruise speed: 31 knots. The goods arrive 4 days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots)
on a China -to- California run. So this behemoth is hugely competitive when
carrying perishable goods.

................................Capitalism killing itself...............HF&RV
The ship was built in five sections. The sections floated together and then welded.. The command bridge is higher than a 10-story building and has 11
cargo crane rigs that can operate simultaneously.
Additional info:
Country of origin - Denmark
Length - 1,302 ft
Width - 207 ft
Net cargo - 123,200 tons
Engine - 14 cylinders in-line diesel engine (110,000 BHP)
Cruise Speed - 31 knots
Cargo capacity - 15,000 TEU (1 TEU = 20 cubic feet)
Crew - 13 people
First Trip - Sept. 08, 2006
Construction cost - US $145,000,000+

Silicone painting applied to the ship bottom reduces water
resistance and saves 317,000 gallons of diesel per year.
ps: It only runs on a very high sulfur content diesel ,which is generally not used nowadays it's illegal most places)
A recent documentary in late March on the History Channel noted that nearly
all of these containers are shipped back to China EMPTY. Yep, that's right.
We send nothing back on most of these ships. What does that tell you about
the current financial state of this country? Just keep buying those imported
goods (mostly gadgets) until you run out of money. Then wonder what the
cause of unemployment (maybe your job) in the U.S. .. and Canada might be?

Les F said...

here's more info on the Emma Maersk
she also had a fire onboard when being built &almost completed:

It's an amazing feet of engineering to say the least.......I'd like to take a tour of this ship.
regardless of it's uses, it would be awesome to check out that engine room.......Yikes
Checkout this engine the Largest Two Stroke Engine in the World.......(not the cleanest way to burn fuel,that's the part they don't mention.....hahahah) HF&RV

walter krysiak said...

good work les

robert jomphe said...

When you were talking about Pat's closing, I think back to how much damage to small business was done by the renovations to Wellington street. They redid the work three years in a row and the customers changed their habits and started shopping at place Angrignon. The pet shop near Desmarchais had been there for ions. How can you compete with chain stores. The attitude becomes when I'm stuck I'll go there but when I'm really shopping I'll go to Angrignon. The same happened to clothing and food stores. It used to be that a generation would live of a little business and live comfortably and pass it on to their children. Now people are managers or associates of chain stores they don't care about the stuff, nor of you. Maybe they do just to keep their job, usually at minimum wage but at first opportunity they are out of there. I miss the interaction of people who cared about the customer, that knew their product, the butcher that called your home to tell you the veal was a good deal this week. You didn't have to take what you think is the best package of meat in the counter he showed you a slab for approval and then cut it to the size you wanted. I could go on you get the idea

Bob Bisnett said...

I just read the news about Pat's this morning. I live in Toronto and was driving along Kingston Road a little later. Stopped into a small restaurant around 8 AM to order a coffee and egg sandwich to go. The chap who works there told me one time that he is from Rosemount. So, I mentioned to him that I had read that a long time fixture, Pat's Men's Wear, in Verdun was disappearing. He listened and said "Pat's Men's Wear?" Pat Mullins? He added"I used to play golf with him".

A small world.


Les F said...

I love this line of Bul$hit,in the previous Globe article :
sudden decline in demand for transportation fuels, creating extraordinarily tight - and, over the past year, often negative - refining margins

Are You Kidding Me ,..."Often Negative-Refining Margins" Oh Your losing money are you..Please stop the BS,..........last I heard aside from Research Money (that's polite for Stealing Taxpapyers Do-Re-Mi) & Large Tax Breaks ( that's code for Stealing Taxpayers Money.....hahahaha)
These "Poor" Ba$tard$ (heavy on the Poor) are claiming Record Profits each year & proud of it,but at the same time they are LOSING money........Maybe You Can Have Your Cake & Eat it Too.....HF&RV

Les F said...

Perhaps big business is also seeing the benefits of unloading debt by taking the exit door through filing for bankruptcy.................Even our Montreal Gazette & the chain that owns it, has jumped on that bandwagon too....... I really think a lot of these Big Business conglomerates ,are now ready for the Downsizing Game.....and so maybe local TV stations will start to make more sense again, & local newspapers will survive as they once were,This could be 'good news' as it were. Since all the newspapers across this country (almost all of the big ones anyway) are owned by one large company GlobalWest,then we all got to read the same news headlines,sort of being bamboozled into believing what we read was unbiased ( yea right) . Here's the GAzette story on the Global west siituation from a few moments ago: (It was in all the papers..............hahahahah )
TORONTO — The country's largest newspaper chain, currently held by Canwest Global Communications Corp., is up for sale following a bid Friday by senior lenders made up of a consortium of Canadian banks, as well as a court filing for creditor protection.

The bid from five of Canada's largest banks was made with the approval of the Canwest board to establish a floor price for the chain. RBC Capital Markets has been hired to seek out possible buyers for the newspaper company.

The bid, which went before the courts Friday as part of a larger filing, is for Canwest Limited Partnership, which holds The National Post, 10 major city dailies — Victoria Times Colonist, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver's The Province, Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Windsor Star, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal's The Gazette — as well as 26 community newspapers, and associated online and mobile properties.

The voluntary filing and protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) will allow the publishing group, known as LP, to operate as usual but provide debt relief while it continues to work on a recapitalization plan.

The National Post, which was recently transferred from the media conglomerate's holding company Canwest Media Inc. (CMI) to a new subsidiary of the publishing group, remains outside of the CCAA filing but part of the bank bid.

The LP — which has about $1 billion in annual revenue — holds about $1.5 billion in debt, much of that from the buyback of a 25 per cent stake in 2007 for just under half a billion dollars.

Under the protection, LP has received $25 million in debtor-in-possession, or DIP, financing to carry the affected business units through the restructuring process. The "pre-packaged" plan has the approval of 48 per cent of LP's eight per cent senior noteholders.

Negotiating a restructuring plan with its creditors in advance of the filing tends to shorten the length of time the company is in creditor protection. It also increases the likelihood of court approval.

Meanwhile, CMI, which holds Global Television and some specialty channels such as TVtropolis, Mystery TV and Men TV, has been under creditor protection since Oct. 6 as it too continues to pursue a recapitalization with its own set of senior lenders and debtholders. The filing did not affect Canwest's stable of specialty channels acquired from Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
have fun and remember verdun

walter krysiak said...

the oil sands in alberta is to expensive, even at 80 dollars a barrel, look at the cost of labour
120k for just labourer in construction, the other side a labourer gets a bag of rice for pay
yet the oil comes out clean by just turning the tap on. knowing the metal and oil markets
there's tankers full of oil sitting that nobody wants.
you have to know the markets to understand the petro dollar, president nixon got rid of the gold standard and replaced it with the petro dollar, all oil is payed by american dollars.
now with no interest rate on your money, investors are buying oil and gold, silver
those that study the dollar, know the real reasons, soon oil will hit the 100 a barrel
again then crash to 35 dollars.
asia has 60% controll of our canadian oil, they have 1,8 trillion american dollars that is worthless
so asia wants there returns, soon interest rates will rise, then you will see a massive housing crash here in canada.

walter krysiak said...

here's a site i read eveynite for years, hit precious metals, read the stuff
the best place to know about the world we live in today

Les F said...

still looking for more stories of 'the Main' anyone know of any? Cheers !! HF&RV

Robert Bowles said...

Came here for the post on Pat's Mens Wear. I know Mr. M and Brian who at one time owned Bridge Cleaners a couple of doors down from Pat's. Barry was a friend of my cousin's and I was recruited to hand out flyers for tux rentals. All 3 of The Mullins Men were great guys. When I was with Zellers I got my clothes from the Garment District on St. Lawrence for cost, but when I left Zellers, I always went back to Pat's and Grovers....Nice to see them go out with style, donating the left over inventory to St Thomas More.....Have to add in a note on "oil sands" Two things, tax base of billions and we are using oil anyway, why pay for ME oil that goes to fund terrorists....take the bus like Pat did guys....and at one time that street car that went to Montreal was electric, clean hydro electricity.....get out of your gas guzzling pickup Walter K