Reuel's Art and Frame moves down the street â again
There's something poetically fitting about the nomadic history of Reuel's Art and Frame, the art-supply retailer that moved its Salt Lake City retail storefront again last month after settling into its prior location for 35 years.
The store's move from West Temple to Broadway (300 South) downtown was its third in the family-owned operation's 81-year history. It was also the third chance to retrofit its image, and the third time cleaning up shop to set up again just down the road.
"The customers are finding us,'' owner Dorothy Ware said, ``and they're liking the new location probably even better."
Charles Ware planted the seeds for Reuel's in 1932 as a printing shop in Salt Lake City called Photo Blue. Reuel Ware bought the store from his father in 1959, and a more modern and, apparently, adaptive version of the company has grown from it since.
Reuel's had its grand reopening at the Broadway location Saturday, which Ware said was well-attended by both returning and new customers.
"That's the best surprise, because we've been at West Temple for 35 years and figured everybody knew where we were," said Ware, who noted moving out after three decades wasn't easy.
Staying that long in one building, it's easy to acquire stories and, well, stuff, Ware said.
Deceased Utah painter Arnold Friberg, who was famous for his portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, bought his supplies in the Holladay store that opened in the 1960s, she said.
The store moved in 1944 to a location near the Congress Hotel, which burned in December that year. Reuel's wasn't damaged in the fire, but Ware had recently started a framing business that was torched in the blaze. That same year, Reuel bought the Lewis Brothers Stages building on West Temple, renovated it and opened shop there in 1977.
When a software mogul offered to buy the site last year, the Wares sold that building, which was demolished last week to make way for an eight-story multi-use building across from Market Street.
Now the store has antique shops and hair salons nearby. Magic and gag gift retailer House of Chuckles and Jitterbug Antiques sit across the street from the business, which moved into the rented space in June.
General manager Art Wynhof, the Wares' son-in-law, has worked for Reuel's for close to 34 years. He said the kinds of businesses on Broadway make for good neighbors.
"The new location is more conducive to retail traffic and creative people," Wynhof said. "Parking is a little more difficult than our other locations because it's paid parking, but there is ample parking." (The new store has free parking in the back and metered parking out front.)
Reuel Ware, whose father opened Photo Blue around the time Reuel was born, created the company's website, which sells the store's range of 32,000 creative goods, shipping easels, stencils, frames and other products to "China, Brazil, Mexico, and a lot to Canada," Reuel Ware said.
"It's not the biggest part of our business," he said, but "it's growing." Three moves in 81 years â¦ not bad
Reuel's moved to 242 E. 300 South, in the old Broadway Pharmacy building.