By Najah Morgan
The downtown Youngstown clothing store Silver’s Vogue Shop is closing after nearly half of a century. The store was opened by owner Barry Silver and his now-deceased parents in 1970.
It’s been located on the corner of Phelps and West Federal streets for 49 years.
Silver said for years the shop thrived with business, and it was a popular place for men to buy snazzy suits, ties, tuxedos, dress shoes and more. Business was flourishing.
Silver said he is sad to close the shop because he has been there for almost 50 years. But, he and his family have decided that there are other things he could be doing at this point in his life.
“Business is good downtown for me and has been for many years, but the city isn’t putting any emphasis on retail anymore,” he said.
“They are pushing for more bars and restaurants, and I am not getting the customer base I used to get,” Silver added.
Although the closing disappoints him, Silver said he doesn’t think the absence of his store will affect downtown because retail in the area has been gone for some years.
“People come downtown now for drinking and eating. They aren’t coming for clothes anymore,” he said.
Silver said his longtime customers are upset to see it go, and they come in everyday asking if he could have someone else run the store.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone to pass it on to,” he said.
The building is now for sale. No price has been listed, but anyone interested could speak with Silver directly.
“I am sure they could get a great deal if they wanted to buy it and open up shop,” Silver said.
Paul Smith, longtime customer at Silver’s Vogue Shop, said the store’s closing is heartbreaking because he’s been shopping there for years.
“I am really going to miss this section of downtown because after everything was closing, the shop was always there. It is going to be sadly missed,” he said.
Smith said he loves to shop and would love to see another clothing store open, but he also said retail seems like a “lost art” downtown.
“I would like to see a doctor’s office because they are popping up everywhere,” Smith said.
Smith said downtown is continuously expanding its bars and restaurants, adding that it seems shopping for clothes downtown is not what it used to be 49 years ago.
Silver said once the building sells, he will officially close the doors a few months later.
Silver said the shop will always be a part of downtown Youngstown’s history, but everything has its time and Silver’s Vogue Shop has reached that time.