Bluestein's in Charleston closing after 134 years in business on King Street

Bluestein's on King (WCIV)

Another long-time Charleston business will soon hang up its hat. Bluestein's on King Street will close early next year after 134 years selling menswear.

“It was started by my great-grandmother in 1883,” said Nicky Bluestein, who took over the family business in the 1960s.

In 1987—a fire destroyed the building, along with old photos and keepsakes. Years later, Bluestein said a contractor found a handful of the original brick in the signature blue.

“He said it’s got to belong to you and he brought me the four bricks,” he said. “I have four boys, I gave each of them a brick and I kept this one here.”

After decades in the business, Bluestein said the most significant changes have occurred within the last ten years.

“Retail is going so fast I don’t know, the world has changed, the internet has taken over,” Bluestein said. “I just like that personal touch, that connection with people, I think that makes it more enjoyable.”

He said life on King Street just isn’t the same as it used to be.

“I come down here in the evenings, seven, eight, nine o’clock and I just can’t believe what’s going on in the street, it blows my mind,” he said.

Despite a booming nightlife and online sales, he said the business is fine and maintains it was his decision to close. Enrolled in law classes at Charleston School of Law and dipping into real estate, he works half days at the store. His next prime listing—494 King Street.

“(There’s) just some other things I want to do,” he smiled. “I hope to reinvent myself, find things to do.”

Bluestein owns the property and the parking lot out back. It’s only a matter of time until the property is back open for business, in one form or another.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off