ICONIC HAT SHOP BACK
Henry the Hatter reopens Friday in Eastern Market space
Detroit — Paul Wasserman hasn’t sold a hat since August. But the long-time president of Henry the Hatter expects that will change Friday, when his iconic Detroit shop reopens to the public in a new space in the city’s Eastern Market.
Wasserman announced in July that his former store on Broadway would be closing after 65 years following a dispute over rent that led to the termination of his lease. The last day for business there was Aug. 5.
News of the closure prompted an outpouring of support and options for Wasserman to retain a Detroit location. The company also has operated a store in Southfield since 1992.
“It’s very gratifying to know how much we mean to the people of the city of Detroit,” said Wasserman, 70, Thursday during a media preview in his new space on Riopelle.
“Had it been just for me, I’d have hung it up. I would have been happy to retire, but after hearing the comments and the outpouring of love from the people in Detroit, I knew what I had to do, and I did it.”
Wasserman said he considered several locations but the 1,800 square foot industrial space in Eastern Market was one of the first and “it just felt right.”
He learned at the end of August, the former tenant, 3 Dogs 1 Cat, was not renewing its lease. Wasserman got the keys on Oct. 2 and transformed the space over the last two months.
The walls are lined with wooden showcases, deconstructed from the shop’s Broadway location. The neon sign out front is the original, too.
Photos of the old store’s old hat factory and its former own-
Paul Wasserman, president and owner of Henry the Hatter, talks about his new Eastern Market location at 2472 Riopelle St.
This is a Tonak Collection Selentino 100 percent fur felt top hat. The store carries a variety of styles and materials including wool, beaver and rabbit fur.
Kid Rock wore a black hat like this Giorgio Cellini Amalfi Jr. on the cover of his "Devil Without a Cause" album. Jack White and Steve Harvey are also clients.