It was a nice sight to see so many people show up to the grand opening of Frohsin’s Clothier on Saturday. Area residents, members of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Alexander City and more turned out to support the opening of a long-awaited business in one of the most historic buildings in downtown Alex City.
There was live music, refreshments and lots of shopping to enjoy.
Frohsin’s Clothier is housed in the old Frohsin’s Department Store, which was originally opened in 1891 by the Frohsin family. It was a downtown staple for more than 100 years before closing in 1996.
The brand new business sells mainly specialty clothing for men and women. Many men in the area have complained there is nowhere to buy nice clothes for themselves, but now they have it in Frohsin’s.
“This was sort of the eyesore of Alex City,” owner Keith Watson said. “I talked to some people who said there was nowhere around here to get men’s clothing. I investigated Frohsin’s from 1891 when it opened to 1996 when it closed. I met with Mr. and Mrs. (Ralph) Frohsin and got their permission to use the branding, to continue using the family name. They are such drivers and influencers. The more people we talked to, the more we wanted to be part of that.”
Watson said he wanted to focus on keeping the history of Frohsin’s alive when he was starting to do renovations and get the store up and running.
“When we were pulling the black glass on the front, it uncovered the sign used from about 1927 to maybe 1932,” Watson said. “It was like the building spoke to us. We did our best to make it look like back then. I’m a huge history buff. I fell in love with the building. A lot of people said it should be torn down but I took it as a challenge.”
The new store also displays old store tags, a Frohsin’s box and even a special keepsake briefcase of Ralph Frohsin’s.
It’s great to see a fresh business operating out of such a classic piece of downtown Alex City’s history. Watson has done a great job so far of keeping the history of Frohsin’s alive, and we hope patrons will do their part by shopping there and supporting the store.