Bluestein’s on King Street to Close After 134 Years of Business

December 6, 2017, 10:16 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — A longtime Charleston store is saying goodbye after 134 years of business.

More than a century old, the doors will officially close at Bluestein’s, an iconic men’s clothing store on an ever-changing King Street, early next year.

“It was started by my great grandmother in 1883,” said Nicky Bluestein, the owner of the clothing store.

Nicky took over for the family business in the 1960s.

A lot has happened since then. In 1987, a fire destroyed the building along with old photos and keepsakes.

Years later, Nicky says a contractor found a handful of the original brick in that signature blue color.

“He said it’s got to belong to you and he brought me the four bricks,” he said. “I have four boys, I gave each of them a brick and I kept this one here.”

After decades in the business, Bluestein said the most significant changes have occurred within the last ten years.

“Retail is going so fast I don’t know, the world has changed, the internet has taken over,” Bluestein said. “I just like that personal touch, that connection with people, I think that makes it more enjoyable.”

He said life on King Street just isn’t the same as it used to be.

“I come down here in the evenings, seven, eight, nine o’clock and I just can’t believe what’s going on in the street, it blows my mind,” he said.

Despite a booming nightlife and online sales, he said the business is fine and maintains it was his decision to close. “Just some other things I want to do,” he said with a smile.

Enrolled in law classes at Charleston School of Law and dipping into real estate, he works half days at the store now.

“I hope to reinvent myself, find things to do.”

His next prime listing – 494 King Street.

On Thursday they will begin their closing sale with 75% off of everything

Bluestein owns the property and the 14 parking spaces out back. It’s only a matter of time until this building is back open for business.