BOYSTOWN — Longtime Boystown collectibles and tchotchke store Gay Mart has closed its doors after more than 20 years on Halsted Street, soon to be reopened under a new manager and a new name.
Gay Mart’s owner Shelly Rosenbaum decided to close this month after years of declining demand for the unique wares at 3457 N. Halsted St., caused by everything from the rise of online shopping to waning sales for Pride gear, according to an interview with the Windy City Times.
Gay Mart manager Chris Howard will be reopening a store in the same spot with a smaller footprint but similar merchandise, calling it Boystown T’s and Collectibles, Rosenbaum told Windy City Times.
"I loved what I did," he said. "I loved the interaction with my customers. I mean, they came from all over the world to seek Gay Mart out and make it a part of their lives. I don't know any business that can say that as proudly as I can. The greatest gift my customers gave me was their friendship over the years."
The store known for selling television and movie figurines, off-kilter gifts, “Dr. Who” collectibles and Pride gear is one of the best-known shops on Halsted Street.
It’s long been one of the first stops for visitors to the commercial corridor, playing an important role in the community, said Jen Gordon, with the Northalsted Business Alliance, a merchants association for the street.
“People have associated Gay Mart with the community for a very long time,” she said.
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