Whatever happened to the guy Nat who owned the Dry Cleaners on 9th avenue right next to Bob’s Hardware Store?

How about Ray, my main man from 7th ave who ran the show? I used to run and get him Chinese food and he always tipped me.


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21 Responses to PRESS ‘EM OFF

  1. H Mills says:

    I enjoyed going in there and shootin’ the breeze with Nat, he was a good guy.

  2. Steve McLaughlin says:

    I may be dating myself but I recall the store name was “Najax” & you could get a pair of Holy Name blue school pants dry cleaned for .75 – those were the days !! That may have been mid to late ’60’s.

  3. TonyF16ST says:

    Remember Coynes Dry Cleaners on 9th and 16th next to Tizzio the fruit store?

    And Rands across the street next to Ebingers bakery.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Ebingers yes! How about L & J? Yummy black and white cookies.

      • Kevin says:

        I was the guy that bought Coynes dry cleaners on 16 st from Harold Coyne in the 70’s and changed the name to Martin’s. Joanne and Helen used to come in and hang out and smoke cigarettes.. Great times…Great people..

  4. Geri Cregg says:

    There was also Jupiter Dry Cleaners on Windsor and 11th. Johnny Asfar’s family owned it. Whatever happened to Johnny?

  5. Glenn Thomas says:

    I’m waiting for a blog entry dedicated to Irv’s Outlet! LOL!
    Irv rocked!

  6. mike slavin says:


  7. Ed Keyes says:

    As I recall Ray, whom you mention, was Ray Van Pelt. One hell of a nice guy.
    I used to go and get “lunch” for Jimmy Houlihan in Farrells when I was 18 or so. He was always good to me except when he found out I was going into the Marines. Vietnam was hot and heavy and he would “counsel” me about not trying to be a “F’g hero.” i know he had my best interest at heart and I am grateful for his unsuccessful efforts to influence me to this day. An all time Great guy!
    Also, during the early ’70’s gas shortage I would drive his car down to the Gowanus Canal and gas it up “FULL.” You were only supposed to get $5.00 worth every other day. Houlie knew people all over and always knew where you could go to get a deal.

    • hoopscoach says:


      Would love to hear some stories leading up to leaving for Vietnam? 18 years old, man o man, I couldn’t imagine. I listen to a great song by Bruce Springsteen and he talks about failing his physical, his father being a pain in the ass, his friends going to war, the drummer in his band was so scared, he had no idea where they were sending him.


  8. Steve McLaughlin says:

    Ah yes ……. Irv’s Dry Goods ……. before Bob’s Hardware expanded & before the chain stores took over!

    • Lineman says:

      Clothing /dry goods on 9th ave circa 1960 : Irv’s outlet , Hendricks dry goods (got a HNS tie there once ) , Murlens , Esta Fashions (womens) ,and finally The Peek A Boo Shop (childrens) . Whoops! found one more ,Helen Gribbin ‘s dress shop @ 123 Windsor pl.

  9. Willy Wickham says:

    That was Raymond Van Pelt at Najax. Loved the way he would emphasize a point with “s**t yea!”.

    Irv from Irv’s Outlet on 9th & Prospect Avenue had a number tattooed on his wrist. He was a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

    • hoopscoach says:

      Ray is a great dude, any idea of his whereabouts?

      • Christine Van Pelt says:

        Ray Van Pelt that used to work in Najax is my Uncle. When he left Najax, he went to work for the Board of Education, he was a fireman in a few schools. He still lives in Brooklyn and still a great guy!

      • hoopscoach says:

        Christine, tell Ray Steve said hi; I was the red-headed kid who lived next door to Najax.

        I used to run to the chinese store to get him food while he worked in the cleaners. Always tipped me well.

        Thanks for the update.

  10. Willy Wickham says:

    Haven’t seen Ray since about 1970! I remember when he started working at Najax around ’65. The Van Pelts were a fairly large group, Ray, Jimmy, Richie, Cathy, and others whose names escape me now.

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