Walking up to the entrance of the new Brooks Brothers store in downtown Austin‘s Scarbrough building, I smiled.
I thought to myself, this is how downtown retail should look and feel. The entrance has a gilded age grandeur that we’re no longer accustomed to in a downtown retailer. Big window displays run the length of the building. You’re greeted by brass doors with elegant hardware. It’s the details that matter.
6th & Congress is arguably the most visible intersection in Austin, Texas. For years, two of the four corners of this intersection have been vacant: the ground floor of the Scarbrough building and the ground floor of the Littlefield building. The Apple pop-up store gave us a glimmer of how much better the city feels without prominent retail vacancies.
Candidly, I wasn’t all that jazzed about Brooks Brothers announcing they were taking this space. I wasn’t against it, rather, it’s not a store I shop at. I was mostly excited to have a well established retailer take up the space. So, this evening, I headed over to the new store after wrapping up at the office …and then, I see the store was irritatingly closed. It was 7:45pm. [Rant: I think downtown’s retail hours of operation are completely fubar. Retail businesses seeking a broad base of customers should be open for business when people are not at work.]
Business hours aside, now that I see Brooks Brothers in the space – taking the entirety of the ground floor – I think they’ve hit it out of the park. The store looks great, and as a result our city looks even better.