York shop Old Guys Rule has closed for good.
Manager Iain Inglis was informed by the company by email last Thursday (June 23) with the Stonegate shop shutting on Wednesday (June 29).
“It was a bit of shock,” he admitted.
While Old Guys Rule will continue to trade online, all the high street shops – including branches in Brighton, Bristol and Chester – are closing.
The Stonegate branch has been run for four and a half years by Iain. Under his stewardship the clothing and gift shop built up reputation for being more of a hangout than a traditional store.
“It’s super friendly. The number of repeat customers we have had is amazing,” Iain said. “It’s one of those places where your customers become friends.”
Men in particular loved to shop there, he said.
“It was somewhere where they could come in when their wives were out shopping, listen to some good music on the radio, talk about the Seventies and the old days.”
Many of his regular customers were visitors to York who returned to Old Guys Rule every year.
“People come from all over Europe. I had a guy from Norway who comes to York every year, comes in here and spends £100 every time. He’s only about 35.”
Customers would stop and chat, including the former road manager of The Who, and the man who stole Jimi Hendrix’s hat after a gig in Montreal.
One man gave Iain a set of photographs he’d taken at rock concerts, and another brought in recordings of his favourite blues tracks for him to listen to.
More than just a shop
“It’s been far more than just a shop. It was a bit like Empire Records, if you remember it – that kind of vibe. It’s a bit more of an attitude than a shop.”
One other member of staff has lost her job, besides Iain. “What I will miss most is the sense of camaraderie from the other traders in the street, and the fact that the customers were brilliant here.
“Of everyone who came in, 99.9% were cool as. They would always have a story to tell you.
“It’s not been a job, it’s been another home I come to for eight hours a day.”