Cincinnati landmark Smitty's burns down - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati landmark Smitty's burns down

By Regina Russo bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For generations if you wanted boy or menswear, Smitty's in Over The Rhine was the place to go.

"I think I got my first prom suit and I took my son there," said customer Danny Smith. 

But now Smith and his wife Dolly are shopping at another clothing store.

"I went to Smitty's, ordered my son something for prom, just this morning I found it burnt up," said Dolly Smith.

Smitty's opened its doors in 1927 by the Smith brothers. Larry Ashford started working for them as a teenager 55 years ago, and 15 years ago, the brothers passed the business on to him.

Because when it came to customer service, Smitty's combines Nordstrom-like quality with a bit of "it takes a village" philosophy.

"They work with you on price, people, parents, bringing their children down here since they were little. It was the only place where you could get cussed out and fitted for the suit at the same time," said Ashford's daughter, Andrea.

The store survived the depression, the nation's riots  in the 60's, and the city's unrest in 2001.

Larry stood outside of what's left of Smitty's from before sunrise until sunset.

"If you look at it now, it doesn't look like much, but there will be a new one," said Ashford.

He promises to rebuild and open another Smitty's near Over The Rhine.

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