Garber’s Men’s Store

Garber's Men's WearTerry Hopkins’ box of his dad’s General Sign Company photos produced this Garber’s Men’s Store sign. Peeking out from the bottom is “Gladish,” which would have to be Gladish-Walker Furniture Company. I was trying to figure out where the store was located, but more about that later.

Garber’s founded in 1954

The Missourian’s A Century of Commerce had these business notes for 1954:

  • Lester Rhodes bought Orpheum Theater Building on Good Hope Street to convert it to business use.
  • Rigdon Laundry’s equipment was sold to Tipton’s Whiteline Laundry Inc.
  • Sunset Motel on Highway 61 North was sold to St. Louis investors.
  • Charles Garber founded Garber’s men’s store.
  • Star Vue Drive-In Theater, large enough for 600 parked automobiles, opened.
  • Pletcher & Haynes Sinclair Service Station opened on Highway 61West.
  • Hobb’s Grill No. 3 on Broadway, formerly Wilson’s Cafeteria, opened.
  • Cape Manufacturing Co., North Main Street, handling Maxine equipment, was incorporated.

Moved to Town Plaza in 1960

There was a lot of activity in 1960:

  • Charles N. Harris founded Atlas Plastics.
  • B & J Refrigeration opened as partnership between Marshall Bailey and Leon Jansen; later became Jaymac Equipment Co.
  • Montgomery Mobile Home Sales opened.
  • Pop’s A & W Drive-In opened.
  • Professional Business Systems was founded by Lloyd Lorberg.
  • Charles Garber moved Garber’s, men’s clothing store, to Town Plaza.
  • The old Joseph Sciortino Grocery Store building in 600 block of Good Hope Street was razed.
  • Making room for parking lot, 103-year-old brick mill building on Water Street was razed.
  • Model Grocery closed, after serving Girardeans 39 years. The last location was at 521 Broadway.
  • Ruh’s Market, in operation 53 years, closed.
  • Victor L. Klarsfeld, owner of Rialto Theater, purchased Broadway Theater building.
  • New 17,000-foot tower of KFVS-TV went into operation.
  • B.I. Howard purchased Wulfers’s building on Broadway. It housed Howard Athletic Goods Co.

Gladish-Walker Furniture formed in 1932

633 Good Hope collapse 08-08-2014I found some ads for Gladish-Walker Furniture that said it was located at 633 Good Hope. That means that Garber’s was located a couple of doors to the east in a building that was constructed at about the same time, 1880 or so based on information in the National Register of Historic Places.

I thought 633 Good Hope sounded familiar. It’s because I did a story about the building collapsing this summer. Garber’s would have been in the building to the left. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Garber’s sold to Rodney and Dimple Bridges

Town Plaza Shopping Center 04-16-2011When Charles Garber retired in the early 1970s, the business was sold to Frank Hamra, who had Hamra’s Men’s Store in Anna, Ill. He hired Rodney Bridges, 20 and a newlywed, to manage it. A year later, Bridges and his wife, Dimple, bought the store. For more detail, you can read an interview with Bridges in the March 14, 2011, Missourian.

When Garber’s was founded, Bridges pointed out, Cape had nine men’s stores in town; today Garber’s is the only one left. The store used to carry all the big name brands, but the chains and outlet stores have taken over that business. To survive, he said, he has to bring in lines that aren’t shown everywhere. In the last 40-plus years, the store has been expanded twice and remodeled four times, increasing from 1,500 square feet to 4,300.

Garber’s has a clean-looking website, showing that the store has been around for awhile, but it keeps up with the times. The shopping center photo above was taken in 2011. That space was occupied by something called Arcade in a photo in a 1962 Girardot advertisement.

I have to confess that I usually counted on Wayne Golliher at Al’s Shops to put clothes on my frame.

13 Replies to “Garber’s Men’s Store”

  1. I believe that Garber’s was also located on Main Street, across from Woolworths and next to Montgomery Wards (Monkey Wards – as my grandfather called it)before it moved to the Town Plaza. Larry Hayes would know, as he used to work there.

  2. Dad was a good friend of Gene Sides and did his dress clothes shopping at Sides-Miller on Broadway. I remember, as a kid, saving my money and taking Daddy there to buy a new dress hat for his Christmas present. The men treated me so special as I made my purchase.

  3. Oglanders was the store downtown, not Garbers. I thought Garbers was on the northeast corner of Good Hope and Sprigg. I’m old so I remember things!! I’m old so maybe I don’t remember them correctly…..

  4. I remember it in its current location, and though I never shopped there, it makes me really happy that at least one store in the town plaza remains from my childhood days. My memories are of Kroger on the west end and Sterling’s and Woolworth’s in the middle. Sears, of course, was a separate building, as was Child’s IGA.

  5. Janet Robert is right Garbers was at Sprigg and Goodhope, it was run by Clarence Schade. Oglanders was on Main st and was also known by Al,s234 at one time.There was a men’s store in the 700 block of Broadway run by Elmer Clifton which I think became Sides-Miller mens store later. Memory fades as years go by.

  6. New 17,000-foot tower of KFVS-TV went into operation I did not know it was this tall
    …but I did buy stuff from Garber’s over the years, a sport coat and suit or two at various times. My Mom bought a lot of my dad’s business clothes from there too. i used to work for Sides-Miller and loved the place. Mr. Gene Sides and Mr. Lowery Miller were real gentlemen and know how and what a gentleman should wear and do. I learned a lot about business and life working there from 1965 until 1969. Good memories and good people that shaped me.

  7. Lowry Miller of Sides /Miller had been the teacher of the manuel training class at May Green Shool when I went therein the 1930’s and I was taught how to make a wooden magazine rack, clothing hall rack to hang our caps and coats on when we came inside , among other things for our mom! Mr. Miller was really a great guy.
    Joe Whitright
    Class of 1945 at Central High

  8. Pat, in doing some research on my current place of employment, Garber’s Men’s Wear, I saw Missourian ads from the early 60’s for a Grabers Women’s Store on Main street. The story I have heard is that Charlie moved his pool hall over here from Cairo in the late 40′ or early 50’s. His wife didn’t like that business very much so he started selling clothes out of part of the hall and then, in due time, made a complete transition into clothing, forgoing the pool hall life. Happy wife, happy life. He then moved out of Harrig and into the brand new Town Plaza Shopping Center in 1960. The rest is history. Rodney and Dimple have had it for 42 years and business is wonderful. Customer service is their hallmark and always will be. Stop in sometime and see the neon clock Charlie had in his Cairo pool hall. It hasn’t missed a beat since Rodney wiped the dust off and plugged it back in oh some 30 years ago. They just don’t make those like they used too.

  9. charlie garber went into the clothing business after “gameing” was “outlawed’ in cape,in the earley ’50s. there were a number of”eatablishments” in cape where “gameing”took place.

  10. About three years ago, after shopping around in a couple of big box stores, I went into Garber’s while in Cape for a too-infrequent visit. Was looking for a particular kind of warm jacket with no “bells, whistles, team logos, branding or bling.” Garber’s had the perfect item when NO other store did! I still have the jacket and wear it when the weather gets chilly here on the leftcoast.

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