Longtime Local Tailor Shop Burns in Morning Fire

Photo by A.B.

J & A Tailor Shop, which has been around for decades at 177 West 83rd Street, went up in flames early on Thursday.

At 8:20 a.m., the FDNY got a call about a fire on the first floor of the five-story, multi-occupied dwelling, an FDNY spokeperson said. Twelve units with 60 firefighters responded. The fire was under control by 9:10 a.m. No injuries were reported. They are still investigating the cause.

The tailor shop appears to be completely destroyed based on the photo below taken by Murray Rosenbaum.

Both J & A’s fans and its detractors noted that it was a mess inside. The fans liked how it was reliable and homey, while detractors on Yelp found it to be too big a mess, among other complaints.

NEWS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Kenna says:

      Yes it was very cluttered but the beauty of the shop was that he had very obscure remnants and because of that could almost fix anything given enough time to find what you need! It is a loss for sure! He’s been there since I could remember and did such great work! He is such a friendly and humble man! His shop will be missed tremendously!

    2. Mark says:

      Think that is one of the tailors, Nacho, in the video.

      Damn. Been using them for years…to me, as said, homey and reliable once they got to know you.

      • dannyboy says:

        Mark, you and Kenna had longer experience with this tailor. I trust that a lot more than Yelpers.

      • Emily Schumann says:

        I agree! I actually had a handful of things there to be picked up tomorrow 🙁

    3. Wendy says:

      Oh no; probably some chemicals used in dry cleaning made the fire extra-terrible. Can the workers recoup ? If clients need clothes, is there a place to donate them ? Thanks NYFD. How’re the upstairs neighbors ?

    4. Juan says:

      Was the ground floor of that building the store that sold lots of odds and ends (I always got a kick out of some of the bobble heads in the window)? If so, it always looked like a big fire hazard to me. I am glad everyone got out safely.

    5. Edith says:

      Oh dear! I am so sorry to hear about that.

    6. Jake says:

      The ‘bodega’ next store is 99.9% a front for something else – they literally sell 10 items. Very bizarre.

      • Leon says:

        I totally agree. I’m guessing the owner of the bodega might own the building and uses it as a place to hang out with his buddies, as otherwise there is no way he is making enough to cover rent. Then at some point he and his buddies tend to spill out onto the sidewalk and really block it up in the evenings when people are trying to walk by…

        • Don't worry about my name. says:


          First of all I’ll ask you what I asked Jake. Do you know how much rent is paid? Do you know how much in sales are made? Do you know if the sales covers the rent? If you notice the store closes at 7PM. Those guys on the sidewalk may one day save your ass because that’s what we original neighborhood folks do.

      • Shirley says:

        Jake: Your negativism is uncalled for! NOT neighborly in the least!!!

      • eric says:

        I lived on this block until 2015, only a few doors down from where the fire happened, and wondered the same thing about the store. (I myself never ventured in)

        However, the guys hanging around on the sidewalk made me feel a bit safer, since they inadvertently served as our building’s security.

    7. Kay says:

      This is a great loss. Over the years he was an exceptional authority on textiles and all kinds of costume designs and deliverables. I hope thevcomm7nity will come together to make sure to help him get back on his feet.

    8. Wes says:

      Hope they saved some of the cool clocks on the wall!

    9. Davie says:

      I’m really sad to hear that this shop was destroyed by fire. About ten years ago, I had them put a brand new zipper on my 22 year old leather jacket. They did such an amazing job! That block is a funny part of the UWS with those strange car rental places, Post Office, Church, Bodega and Jerry Seinfeld’s hidden-in-plain-sight garage! I hope they find a new home, but I’m going to miss this quirky tailor shop on a funny block

    10. Jay says:

      It was obviously a GREEDY landlord that wanted to raise the rent and open a Citibank instead that started the fire.

      Note: This is sarcasm

    11. B.B. says:

      Laundries, textile manufacturers, tailor shops, fabric shops, textile factories, etc… any such place where you find large amounts of cloth are subject to fires. Sadly once started all that cloth becomes a fuel supply that can cause a major inferno.

      Triangle Shirt Factory fire is an historical famous instance of this, but there are others. Clothes dryers due to all that lint are another source of fires.

      Another historical fact:

      Females were often subject to burns and or immolation due to fashion and fact open fires were common (heating, cooking, candles, oil lamps, etc…)were common.

      Long skirts (often voluminous in several layers) and or frippery such as long sleeves or high collars trimmed or made from lace, organdy and other materials easily caught fire. Miss. Havisham may have been a work of fiction, but (sadly)she had far too many real life sisters.

    12. CB says:

      Oh, no!! Just read this. My husband and I both went to this place for all our repair needs and they 1) did a great job, and 2) never lost everything. I’m so y.