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Oona's in Harvard Square To Close Temporarily This Summer

Harvard Square’s Oona’s Experienced Clothing will close this summer for renovations before reopening in August under new management.

For the last 38 years, the vintage clothing shop located on Mass. Avenue between Bow and Arrow Streets, has been privately owned and operated by Kathleen M. White.

White had been interested in selling Oona’s months before Ellie Mueller, a longtime patron, unexpectedly approached her with an offer earlier this year.

“I’m 68, and I want to retire,” White said.

“Ellie’s been shopping here since she was 14. When she approached me with an offer, I was excited to sell the store to someone with knowledge of the vintage clothing industry,” she added.

Oona’s first opened doors in the Square in 1972 and later opened stores in Boston, Newburyport, and Provincetown, White said.

Though the locations outside of Cambridge eventually had to be shut down, White continued to operate out of the original store in the Square.

According to White, Oona’s is busiest in the weeks directly preceding Halloween and other annual themed parties at Harvard and other local universities.

“The good stuff usually sells out within two weeks of arriving, but everything’s gone within a month or two,” she said.

Oona’s boasts a dedicated clientele who often return with family and friends many years later, White said.

“This store is pretty much the same place it was in 1972,” she said. “Some of my original clients have come back with their grandchildren and told me that the store is exactly how they remember it 30 years ago.”

Mueller said she plans to maintain much of the store’s characteristic milieu while improving the overall experience for customers.

“I’m obviously a huge fan of Oona’s, but sometimes it’s hard to find what you’re looking for,” she said. “With the renovation, we’re hoping to improve that.”

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