Downtown Halifax clothing store closing up shop after 30 years in business

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By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax

HALIFAX - Halifax’s renaissance era is coming to an end.

Catherine Nathanson stands inside her store, Renaissance, on Barrington Street. It will be shutting its doors this September.

On Monday, the Renaissance Clothing Co. on Barrington Street announced it would be closing its doors in September for good.

“It was a personal choice to retire,” said Renaissance owner Catherine Nathanson, who started the business with her late husband, Brian, in 1983.

Nathanson said there’s been a lot that’s changed in her 30 years on Barrington Street, “too much to say in a few minutes,” but she’s had a “really wonderful time” at that location.

She said the downtown core is “the heart of Halifax,” because it’s where most tourists come when they arrive in Halifax, and out-of-town visitors end up wandering around the area as well.

“It’s the first place that a lot of people see,” Nathanson said.

Many locals see Barrington Street as a difficult place to thrive, with high rent and in need of a revitalization.

But Nathanson is loyal to the neighbourhood, and says downtown critics “don’t understand.”

“Unfortunately a lot of people are going to make the wrong judgments,” Nathanson said about the closure.  “(But) having been on the street as long as I have been, I’ve seen what the street can do.”

“A lot of us have survived down here for 30 years,” she said.

Nathanson mentioned Chives, Attica, and FireWorks Gallery as local businesses who have done well on Barrington Street and made a great support network.

“I love the people downtown. It was a tough choice … but time to say goodbye,” Nathanson said.

Nathanson, who owns the 1549 Barrington St. property, said she hasn’t sold the business to anyone and doesn’t have any plans for converting the space yet, or what she’ll do next.

“I’ll have a chance to breathe, I think,” Nathanson laughed.

     

Organizations: Renaissance Clothing Co.

Geographic location: Barrington Street, Halifax

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