"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Oh, No! Refinery Closing After 21 Years On Smith Street

The string of retail closings continues here in South Brooklyn, with the announcement that Refinery at 248 Smith Street is closing after 21 Years.  The store carried unique handmade bags and purses designed by the owner Suzanne Bagdade. It also carried shoes, jewelry and home decor items.

Refinery had been one of the very first businesses to open as part of Smith Street's revival in the late 1990s and as such was a real pioneer.  It first occupied a much smaller storefront a few doors up, until moving to this bigger space a few years back.

According to the web site, RefineryBrooklyn.com, the closing is a consolidation with another location in Northampton, Massachusetts. The business will also maintain a presence on Etsy, which is reassuring.

How sad for the community to be losing Refinery.  We wish its owner good luck in their new venture.


Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the homeless(?) guy who kinda looked like Charles Manson that would scrounge thru the garbage and sell some of it to Refinery? He had a crutch that was too small for him. I remember a reader (i think on here) posted how she was a doctor and tried to help him and he refused. I haven't seen him in a few years. Hopefully he found a happier place to be....

chance bliss said...

to anonymous 1:06 PM, while i can't remember his name, my landlords knew him as i had asked them about him because he frequently passed through our block. alas, he died a few years ago.

as i recall, he was not actually homeless. he lived in the neighborhood but made the rounds as part of his daily routine, often with his pushcart into the late hours of night, collecting items for recycling.

Suzanne Bagdade said...

Thanks so much for mentioning this, Katia- I am a huge fan of you and your blog. Having my store on Smith Street has been such an incredible journey - it's been such a privilege to meet and get to know so many amazing people in the neighborhood. The store remains open until the end of April. Refinery lives on at my other store in lovely Northampton, MA, and online (once I conquer my Luddite ways once and for all). Smith Street will always have a sweet spot in my heart.

As for the comment from Anonymous, I think they're thinking of Richie, who was close with the owner of Mongo, which was next door to Refinery. Haven't seen Richie since Mongo shut shop a couple of years ago. He was not homeless. He sold stuff next door, not to me.

Katia said...

Wishing you well, Suzanne! This neighborhood will miss you.

Anonymous said...

Dude. I’m so happy you will still be in business, Susanne. I have three of your bags and other things. You always had great windows with your Found objects. And happy to know you’ve got an online presence. We look forward to the nail salon that will sadly take over your lease.
I will stop in before the end of April. Your store gave character to Smith Street back when it had character. Rock on.

Mary Hedge said...

Will miss your store and beautiful products. Still miss Mongo and the lovely, high quality socks I used to buy every winter.


Anonymous said...

I moved to San Francisco a few years back and miss Cobble Hill, Suzanne and her store. I am happy to learn that I will be able to shop with Refinery on Esty! I have two of her bags and will definitely add another

mag said...

@Suzanne, you will be MISSED! Gosh, I remember when you first opened and I would take my (now 21 year old) daughter to your shop. She loved your dog! I am happy to hear tho, that you will remain in Northampton, as my bestie Anat (another ex-pat from Brooklyn) lives there, and frequents your shop by Thorns. I look forward to seeing you in Noho - but will feel a tinge of sadness whenever I walk by your old Brooklyn haunt. xo

Chris G. said...

Richie was his name. He was the kindest soul and wasa homeless. He lived on my block on President St. He passed a couple of years ago.