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Long-time NY window retailer to close

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, October 13, 2003

Come the third week of November, long-time window retailer Guests Curtains will close its doors after decades in business.

"This area has become hot real estate, and I got an offer I couldn't refuse," said owner Irwin Kfare, who joined the company 40 years ago. At that time, the store, founded by someone named Guests, was already probably 40 or 50 years old. At that time, the area was predominantly Italian and Jewish blue collar and has since become Latino blue collar, he said. "They've brought life into this town," Kfare said of the Hispanic population, and now storefronts are hard to come by on Main Street, where his 4,800-square-foot store is located.

The curtain business has also changed over the years as the number of vendors dwindled. However, "people in the industry were always good to us. Even though we were not a major chain, we were always treated fairly."

His family has been in the textiles business "for as long as I can remember," and it had the distinction of becoming the first Fieldcrest distributor in Manhattan, he said. Kfare first had a store on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue, but then joined his uncle in the business here.

Kfare still hasn't decided what he wants to do now, though he's had a few job offers. But of his textiles days he said, "it's been a great run and a lot of fun."

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