Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Good-Bye, Olive And Rae's: Two Sad Closings On One Court Street Block

Rae's in 1986
(photo courtesy of Rae)
  Rae's in 2018
(photo courtesy of Rae)
(photo credit: Kassie)

It pains us to report not one, but two closings of long time Carroll Gardens businesses...and they are right next to each other.
Last night, reader Kassie reported that Rae at 432 Court Street and Olive's Very Vintage at 434 Court Street will be closing their respective stores.

Rae, a popular clothing boutique, has a fixture in the neighborhood. It's owner, Raina Passo, confirmed the closing with us by saying that after 32 years in the same location, she had not been given an option to renew her lease. "I have had an overwhelming amount of customers coming in that are so so devastated," she told us in an email.
Everything in the boutique is on sale from now till closing.

(photo courtesy of Olive Vintage) 
(photo credit: Kassie)

Right next door, Jen McCulloch is getting ready to close her vintage clothing and accessories boutique "Olive", which she opened 17 years ago. Signs in the window encourage people to stay in touch via Instagram or her online page.
Jen will continue to buy vintage and high end designer pieces, and host pop-ups and shopping parties. She will also continue to participate in vintage shows.

Jen and Raina, we will miss your presence very much here in Carroll Gardens. 


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed both shops even when as I aged I couldn’t fit into any of Olives cool vintage clothing. :-) one thing I do not understand is what you meant about Rae. She had her lease for 32 years and then now the landlord is denying a renewal? So essentially selling out to a larger tenant? Like a bank? Or what? Confusing. Wasn’t this shop front that laundromat named “Bleach House” ? In any event I hope another indie business will occupy each space. Not a bank. Not a cellphone repair shop. Not a nail salon. Something good. Our nabe is losing its identity. A nail salon is sad reflection on a vibrant individualistic community. Anyway. Thank you Olives and thank you Rae.

Anonymous said...

The Dickensian Bleach House was at President and Court, replaced by Lee Lee's Valise. (Still empty?)

Sad sad news to see Rae's and Olive's both leave. That block had a real identity.

JMB said...

Who's the landlord?
I feel like this happens too often and we need to expose the landlords, and either:
Verify if indeed the rent was well-below market value, and allow them to defend themselves if they are simply bringing the rent up to market value, which is fine.
Or expose them if they are gouging the tenant and contributing to a decline in neighborhood charm due entirely to greed and or unethical behavior.

Anonymous said...

I guess Debbie Scotto has something better in mind.

Anonymous said...

This is devastating news for the neighborhood. Rae, is my heart, my sister from another mother. I went through many emotions when we first talked about this terrible news. I was angry and wanted to strike out at the person turning Rae’s world upside down, breaking her heart. But that wasn’t going to help the situation and wouldn’t be in line with Rae’s ethics or morals. So I did what every sister does - I spoke to Rae every day. We talked about the legacy of Rae’s and all the customers who became friends - who needed Rae in their lives not just for the goods she carried in her store but for the heartfelt talks and hugs and empathy and care that Rae gave to each and everyone of them with all her heart. Rae befriended everyone - even tourists from abroad and across the United States who happened to amble into her store. They would visit her every time they came back into town - be they from Germany or the UK or Oshkosh or Los Angeles. That says something don’t you think?

For over 32 years Rae watched the families in the neighborhood grow - from giving away trinkets to the kids (do you remember the magic balls) to selling those same kids something blue for their wedding day. She comforted her customers during times of loss and celebrated their joyful events. She is not just any shop owner - she is Rae!!- A bolt of lightning in a tiny frame - full of “energizer bunny” energy with no batteries needed and a heart of gold that shines through in her words and actions. If you came in feeling down she lifted your spirits. You were blessed if you had a chance to shop at Rae’s - my heart goes out to all those who will never have a chance to do so. But there is still time - Rae’s is open until December 31st. Stop by say hello and whether you buy something or not your life will have been made richer for having experienced Rae.
Hugs and kisses to you Rae. Carroll Gardens will miss you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to hear this. I no longer live in Carroll Gardens but used to be only a couple of blocks away and always enjoyed the quiet vibe of that stretch of Court Street (perhaps a factor in these stores' demise). The old school charm of Olives and Rae's (still remember their old signboards!) certainly added to the atmosphere on these blocks, and surely their presence will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Checking the city database, it looks like they have the same landlord. If Yesterday's News and the bagel store are forced out, it will leave a dark scar in Carroll Gardens. Too many For Lease signs are not charming and are not contributing to the area.