Burned-Down Tailors Asks for Community’s Help to Rebuild: ‘That’s His Life Right There’

By Hannah Reale

J & A Tailor Shop on 83rd Street near Amsterdam Avenue, which has been around for decades, burned down last Thursday. Now the owner’s family is now trying to rebuild, and is asking for the community’s help.

José Abreu, the son of the owner—who is also named José Abreu but goes by Jesús—started a GoFundMe for the shop.

The younger Abreu confirmed that both the tailors and the apartment above it burned down, but that the Fire Department has not yet notified them of any known cause. He added that the shop has been at that location for 30 years, and for another 10 at a location just a block downtown.

“My father, he goes there every day,” he said in an interview with the West Side Rag. “Everyone knows him around the neighborhood, and a lot of people even go to visit him there. He leaves at 8:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday… It’s his life.”

He added, “It’s burned down, and he’s not supposed to be there, and he’s just sitting outside because he can’t be home—he’s gotta be there. That’s his life right there.”

The GoFundMe has a goal of $40,000, which, according to its page, will go toward “rebuild[ing] the Tailor shop and equipment.”

“There was a lot of sentimental value there. There’s no price…” Abreu trailed off. “We’re looking forward to building up again, but we’re just waiting to see what happens.”

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. B.B. says:

      Didn’t this business have any sort of insurance?

      • Shirley Z says:

        Cold & detached comment. You’re new to the neighborhood? Show some compassion & heart! This is the UWS!! We take care of each other.

      • Jose Abreu says:

        My Fathers J & A Custom Tailor (Jesus) was one of the Oldest business owners in the area trying to stay up to date with Rent and NYC Insurance. Unfortunately this type of business cant afford a certain type of insurance that will cover everything and people that owns businesses in the area will know that. He was a Block away (where the Western Union is located on Amsterdam)for 10 Year and the location that burned down was there for 30 + year, even on the Holidays. Him and the guys that work there have been with him all the time. They did there work more for Passion than anything else. You got to love something to keep working when your 77 years old. “Never seen my Father so sad”… Thanks for all the people that one way or the other have helped, understand and keep helping.

    2. Robert A Levit says:

      Jesus provided us a convenient, competent and friendly service for years. Let’s help the family restore their business and our neighborhood resource. We are with you Jesus.

    3. Wendy says:

      There was a book, & , an interview @ another book – on a radio program : re the worldy wealthy 1% of folk. How are any folk, from the apt. above ? Remembr when folk brought so many things for the families in the Belmont area of duh Bronx, who’d been burnt out; that some donations were refused ? Dos the older Abreu fellow have a rocking-chair?

    4. Lawrence Holliday says:

      This is an excellent example of the kind of business that always made the UWS the livable
      community it has always been to its residents. Though I have moved away, my heart misses the years I lived on WEA!!
      Let’s contribute to rebuilding the Abreu business and show our appreciation!!

    5. Jose Abreu says:

      My Fathers J & A Custom Tailor (Jesus) was one of the Oldest business owners in the area trying to stay up to date with Rent and NYC Insurance. Unfortunately this type of business cant afford a certain type of insurance that will cover everything and people that owns businesses in the area will know that. He was a Block away (where the Western Union is located on Amsterdam)for 10 Year and the location that burned down was there for 30 + year, even on the Holidays. Him and the guys that work there have been with him all the time. They did there work more for Passion than anything else. You got to love something to keep working when your 77 years old. “Never seen my Father so sad”… Thanks for all the people that one way or the other have helped, understand and keep helping.

    6. g.t. says:

      Wonderful tailors, great music, a neighborhood treasure and pleasure. Community means we support each other.

    7. JSN says:

      It has been 11 days and only about $3,800 raised so far. If the community really cares about family businesses, then this is a deserving donation. Surely UWS residents can act generously and contribute to help J&A Tailor Shop.