MAYFIELD — B&B Simply Tuxes and Lickity Cut up Scorching Canine & Ice Cream share frequent possession, a six-month working schedule and a chunk of land on the jap aspect of Route 30.
Their parking tons are linked by a stone pathway. An indication on the tuxedo store entrance invitations events to ask for Invoice, over on the meals stand.
“We do have posted hours, for B&B,” stated Invoice Russo, the proprietor, just lately, as he eliminated one other batch of golden-colored French fries from a deep fryer inside Lickity Cut up. “However I inform individuals to not fear about it, as a result of I’m all the time subsequent door.”
Twenty minutes later, strolling round inside B&B Simply Tuxes, Russo mentioned how demand for tuxedoes had rebounded from final yr, when he was not often summoned from the eatery to the tuxedo store. COVID-19 was guilty.
“It knocked us for a loop, as a result of the whole lot canceled,” he stated. “There have been no proms, and no weddings.”
Russo and his spouse, Lori, didn’t have a lot time to ponder the terrible state of the tuxedo-rental trade. At Lickity Cut up, which the duo runs with none assist, strains have been continuously lengthy throughout 2020 and the money drawer usually bulged with forex.
“We did an unbelievable quantity of enterprise,” Invoice Russo stated. “It was doubled. It was good having one job for a yr. I didn’t thoughts that in any respect.”
The 2 enterprises are open for six months, starting in April. Russo and his spouse spend the opposite six months at a condominium in Boynton Seashore, Fla.
Lickity Cut up Scorching Canine & Ice Cream’s 2021 season started on April 10. Meals gross sales, in response to the proprietor, picked up the place they left off final October — regardless of days that always have been moist or chilly, or each.
Orders for tuxedo leases have resumed prefer it was 2019.
Russo stated he started receiving phone and in-person enquiries about tuxedos over the past week of April. Individuals wished them for upcoming weddings and college proms.
“Right this moment I did $1,500 price of enterprise right here,” Russo stated, inside B & B. “Individuals come over to Lickity Cut up, and ask if I’ve received a tux for an occasion. So I come over and it’s good.”
Russo, 68, has been providing tuxedoes far longer than promoting sizzling canine and ice cream. Lickity Cut up opened right here in 2000. Russo has been renting tuxes from the constructing subsequent door since 1985. He started renting them within the late Seventies, when he and his brother, Bob, ran a retailer known as Bachelor’s Quarters in Gloversville.
The brothers’ mom, Dolly Russo, operated Jack & Jill and the Junior Store, additionally in Gloversville. Included inside her retailer was a bridal store. Invoice Russo stated the shops remained open till the early Eighties, when the household misplaced their lease on Important Road.
In 1985, the Russos opened Bells & Bows at 3871 Route 30. Dolly Russo dealt with the bridal aspect of the operation, and Invoice Russo took care of the tuxedo finish. This business mixture of clothes and tuxedoes continued previous Dolly Russo’s demise in 1997 till 2012, when Bells & Bows started doing enterprise as B&B Simply Tuxes.
The main focus turned tuxedoes, Russo stated, so he and his spouse may spend the entire winter at their place in Florida. By having the tuxedo store’s opening coincide with that of the meals stand, in April, the proprietor may e book orders for proms and weddings.
“The ladies took an excessive amount of time,” Russo stated. “They begin purchasing in December, and I didn’t need to be right here in December, January, February or March anymore.”
Tuxedoes are obtained from a wholesaler. Russo doesn’t have to take care of a warehouse of each potential measurement to accommodate all human shapes. After Russo takes the measurements, the wholesaler dispatches tuxes to the shop, the place they’re rented out after which returned to the wholesaler on the finish of the engagement.
In late 2011, after closing each shops for the season, Russo instructed — to a wholesaler from Buffalo — his thought for a tuxedo-only store. This man instructed Russo to go south for the winter, however to depart the important thing to Bells & Bows beneath the mat on the aspect door. He promised to come back in and remodel the shop.
When Russo returned to the realm in April 2012, he was happy with the metamorphosis.
“They did an exquisite job,” he stated, making a sweeping gesture across the store. “That is their furnishings, and their mannequins.”
Russo regarded out and noticed a automobile was pulling into the parking zone of Lickity Cut up. His spouse, Lori, was working the home windows by herself and he wanted to get again there for what was anticipated to be a busy Friday night. So he locked the door of the tuxedo store, the one with the signal informing individuals in want of tuxedos to ask for Invoice, on the meals stand, after which walked again alongside the stone path.
“We’ve got good gigs,” Russo stated. “It’s a tough six months on, however it’s a stunning six months off.”