Henry the Hat­ter re­opens Fri­day in East­ern Mar­ket space

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY CHRISTINE FER­RETTI The Detroit News

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-

Pho­tos by Todd McIn­turf / The Detroit News

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.

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