Keezer’s Classic Clothing, a men’s formalwear store that has sold tuxedos to Harvard students for more than a century, is set to close July 1.
Leonard E. Goldstein, the current owner of Keezer’s, is retiring this summer. While the store’s current location has been purchased, Goldstein said he hopes someone will continue to operate the company after he retires.
Goldstein said that about two years ago, people began walking into his store and asking if he wanted to sell his real estate.
“I never called anybody,” he said. “They just offered me a certain amount of money I couldn’t refuse.”
Since its opening in 1895, Harvard students have flocked to Keezer’s to buy suits and tuxedos, and Goldstein said notable alumni like John F. Kennedy ’40 and Conan C. O’Brien ’85 have been outfitted at the store.
Goldstein bought the business in 1978 and moved it to its current 140 River St. location near Central Square in 1985. Several current students said they will miss the store.
The Harvard acapella group Din & Tonics—along with several other undergraduate groups—have purchased all of their suits at Keezer’s since the group’s founding in 1979.
Everett W. Sussman ’19, the Din & Tonics' business manager, said he was upset to hear the news. He said Keezer’s has been a central part of his experience in the Dins, an experience shared with all 245 members of the group.
“I still remember very clearly the day when a bunch of the Din alums along with the current members of the group took me, when I was a new member getting initiated, over to Keezer’s to pick out my tails to be a member of the Dins,” Sussman said. “It’s almost like a sort of ritual ceremony that I’m kind of upset is going to be different.”
To say goodbye, the Dins surprised Keezer’s staff and customers by coming in for an impromptu serenade at the end of April.
“We wanted to at least say goodbye in nicest way that we possibly thought we could at that point in time, which was to go over and give them a little performance,” Sussman said.
Richard M. Feder-Staehle ’18 said his freshman proctor recommended he go to Keezer’s. Since, he said has gone about once a year when he needs something, and recalls once getting dress pants that perfectly matched his suit for $10.
“It’s those kinds of deals that you can’t pass up on,” he said.
Jayant Gopalan ’20 said that he could not believe that Keezer’s was closing.
“I freaked out,” Gopalan said. “I’ve been recommending it to a lot of people as a really incredible place that’s really, really under utilized and not nearly well-known enough for how fantastic it is.”
Brandon N. Wachs ’18, a sports broadcaster for Harvard’s WHRB radio station, said he has gone to Keezer’s for affordable suits to wear during broadcasts. He said he thought Keezer’s suit price and quality were “really unmatched,” and pretty much the only nearby option for the college student budget.
“It is truly irreplaceable,” Feder-Staehle said. “Keezer’s will be missed.”
—Staff writer Alison W. Steinbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.
—Staff writer Katherine E. Wang can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiewang29.
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