For Coronado local Rich Brady, 2020 was going to be a business challenge even before the COVID-19 shutdowns pulled the rug out from under small businesses. Brady is the owner of the upscale menswear shop, Brady’s Menswear, that has dressed discerning locals and hotel guests for 46 years. With the planned hotel remodel, his business was looking at a shortened year anyway; the March shutdowns cut it even shorter.
Brady’s remodeled retail space at the hotel will not be ready to open until at least April, but he is making the best of it, trying to capture the holiday shopping season. “We set up in a temporary location in the hotel and we are really hoping to get some holiday shoppers,” said Brady.
The location, while not ideal, is in a meeting room off the courtyard next to the hotel’s Signature Shop. “We appreciate the space and Harold [General Manager Harold Rapoza] has been very supportive through the whole process,” he said.
“We are ready to give customers our best attention and professional advice, and even gift wrap!” Brady offered. Among the exclusive brands of high-end clothing, the store also carries scarves, shoes and socks, and accessories. “Right now we have almost everything half-price, including Samuel Hubbard and Johnston & Murphy shoes, which are not usually on sale anywhere,” he said. “We were doing better before the state shutdowns again last Sunday [Dec. 6] which pretty much closed down travel and hotels. The occupancy rate at the hotel is very low so that doesn’t help business,” noted Brady. “And many locals don’t even know we reopened.”
The store does not take web orders but has some out of town clients that visit regularly who call in for certain items. “It’s difficult being a specialty store. Our business works best when customers can feel the goods. We do our own tailoring and it’s impossible to do measurements and customization like that over the internet.”
Brady has remained optimistic and energetic throughout this challenging time. He opened a pop-up shop on First Street for the summer months to move his in-stock inventory and generate some revenue. He has not laid off any employees, but mentioned the struggle to keep up with employee health insurance and other set costs until he can reopen.
Brady has seen a lot of change in his 46 years at the hotel. He is thrilled about the new retail areas under construction and can’t wait to reopen in his new store. “What they have done so far with the finished spaces is stunning,” he said.
As a generous supporter of Coronado schools, nonprofits, local foundations, and service organizations for decades, Brady appreciates how Coronado is rallying around local businesses during the pandemic. He hopes that when people walk around to look at the holiday decorations and new spaces at the hotel, they stop in and shop for “the perfect gift for the man in their life.” Brady’s Menswear at the Hotel del Coronado is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.