Tuesday, October 4, 2022

R. Bryant, Ltd. Continues 40 Year History

R. Bryant, Ltd., located at 429 Duke of Gloucester St. (WYDaily/Photo by Gabrielle Rente)

WILLIAMSBURG — R. Bryant, Ltd., a men’s clothing store that has been in Williamsburg for over 40 years, will reopen its doors Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.

The Williamsburg staple has been operating out of Merchants Square since 1982. The business was first opened to the public by its original owner, Rusty Bryant.

In March 2021, R. Bryant, Ltd. announced that it would be closing down the store after Bryant decided to retire after 50 years in the clothing industry.

Ever since the announcement, over time and through discussions, Bryant decided to sell the store to its new owner, Jamie Lavin.

“Rusty has impeccable taste. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” said Lavin. “I’m just trying to continue on what he’s found. He’s found a nice balance for the younger guys and the older guys.”

Lavin is a former employee of R. Bryant, Ltd., who has worked for Rusty for about two years. The former employee turned new owner remembers the day Rusty said that he would be retiring. Even before the clothing company announced its March retirement sale, Lavin was already asking Bryant to sell the business.

“When he told me he was going to retire I asked him that day and he said no,” said Lavin.  “Then I asked him every week after that for about a month. He told me no about four times and then one day he came in and said he that he had a change of heart.”

The new ownership means the store will continue a Williamsburg service that goes back even farther than R. Bryant, Ltd.

Merchants Square has had a men’s clothing store in the area since the early 1930s. Back then, Merchants Square was a relatively new development, first opening to the public in 1927.

The first clothing store that arrived at Merchant Square was Frazier Callis Co. That business was followed by Frazier-Graves in the 1950s. R. Bryant, Ltd set up shop in the early 1980s and has been there ever since.

The continuation of the clothing store is not just about carrying on a Williamsburg legacy, but also continuing a family legacy. Rusty Bryant’s son, Tyler, will stay with the company as the general manager.

R. Bryant, Ltd. sells everything from sports coats, suits, tuxedos, custom wear, outerwear, leather goods, ties, and shoes just to name a few of their products.

“It will be rewarding,” said Lavin. “It’s going to be the same deal minus Rusty.”

People can visit R. Bryant, Ltd.’s website or their Facebook page for more information about the store opening on Oct. 1.

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