Defunct Store Signs: Preserving NYC History on T-Shirts

Defunct Store Signs: Preserving NYC History on T-Shirts

Born in Brooklyn and made in Manhattan, our brand is deeply rooted in the rich tapestry of New York's history and its enduring vitality. Within our latest collection of graphic tees, we pay homage to a distinctive yet often overlooked aspect of this history—the defunct store signs that once adorned the city's lively sidewalks.

Beyond their role as mere branding or advertisements for local businesses, these signs emerged as genuine works of art, each one serving as a poignant reflection of the neighborhood it proudly inhabited. Whether it was the vibrant neon glow of the Coffee Shop sign in the heart of Union Square or the meticulously hand-painted letters tucked behind the neon brilliance of the Pearl Paint sign (below) on Canal Street, these signs seamlessly became an integral part of the very fabric that defines our city.

Pearl Paint Tshirt

Recently, we bid farewell to two time-honored favorites, Neil's Coffee Shop (below) in the Upper East Side and Lenny's Pizza in Brooklyn. It's disheartening to witness the disappearance of these landmarks, a trend exacerbated by the encroachment of luxury high-rise developments. However, we firmly believe in the significance of preserving these fragments of New York City's history. These iconic signs serve as more than markers of the past; they are essential storytellers, and it is our duty to ensure that future generations can appreciate, remember, and learn from the unique narratives they encapsulate.

Neil's Coffee Shop TShirtLenny's Pizza TShirt

This commitment is the driving force behind our latest collection – a series of graphic tees showcasing digital photorealistic recreations of some of the city's most iconic storefront signs. Whether it's the nostalgic menu cover artwork from Lundy Bros Restaurant in Brooklyn or the vibrant facade of Glaser's Bake Shop (below) on the 1st Avenue of the Upper East Side, each design is meticulously crafted to capture the distinctive spirit and character of the business it represents.

Glaser's Bake Shop Graphic Tee

Among our cherished designs, a standout is our tee featuring the iconic sign of The Famous Ray's Pizza—a New York City institution that has spawned countless imitators over the years. Our tee proudly showcases the distinctive sign from The Famous Ray's Pizza location on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village, a spot that earned its reputation as one of the most famous and enduring among the multitude of Ray's Pizza establishments.

Famous Rays Pizza Shirt

Another design close to our hearts is the tee featuring the illustrious sign of The Roxy Theatre, a historic movie palace nestled at 153 West 50th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues—just off the vibrant Times Square in New York City. When it first opened its doors in 1927, The Roxy stood as one of the world's largest movie theaters. While its beginnings were marked by extravagant movie screenings, The Roxy underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving into a legendary music venue that played host to some of the most significant names in rock and roll during the dynamic eras of the 1970s and '80s. The theater's iconic neon sign, a radiant fixture of the Times Square skyline, became an instantly recognizable symbol, etching itself into the very fabric of the city's entertainment scene.

Wearing one of our tees featuring these iconic signs goes beyond making a fashion statement – it's a commitment to preserving a fragment of New York City's rich history. With each tee, you pay homage to the local businesses and communities that brought these signs to life, ensuring that their memory endures for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. It's not just about style; it's about carrying a piece of the city's soul with you, a testament to the vibrant stories that have shaped its streets.

Explore our website and delve into our latest collection of defunct store signs today. Stay connected by following us on social media for updates on upcoming collections and other exciting news from our brand. Your support is invaluable, contributing to the preservation of the spirit of old New York City. Thank you for being a part of our journey and helping us keep the essence of the city's history alive!

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