Beloved Cleaners Closes

Another Montrose landmark bites the dust: Beloved dry cleaners shutters as neighborhood changes

Another Montrose landmark bites the dust: Beloved dry cleaners closes

McGowen Cleaners
McGowen Cleaners is closing on Friday, but will remain open until December 31 for customers who previously left clothing there to be laundered or drycleaned. Google

The face of Montrose continues to change as longtime businesses close to make way for trendy restaurants and townhomes. The latest casualty: McGowen Cleaners, a neighborhood fixture for decades on Fairview near Shepherd.

Owners George Groschke and Edwin Baker have decided to shutter the longtime cleaners with the distinctive sign on Friday (November 13), although it will remain open until December 31 so customers can pick up any cleaning they previously left. After that, any remaining clothing left at the property will be donated to charity, said Katie Baker, the wife of Edwin Baker, who has worked behind the counter at the cleaners since the early 1980s.

"We do everything the old-fashioned way, but it worked for us," she said. "It's a blessing to have what we have, but every good thing has to come to an end."

The cleaners was originally founded by Groschke's father on McGowen street near downtown Houston (hence the cleaners' name) before moving to its current location longer ago than anyone can remember. The cleaners is known for its attention to detail and uncanny ability to removed lipstick stains and red wine from precious clothing.

The owners decided to sell the 5,000-square-foot corner property, which will likely make way for a restaurant, because they are both past 70 and wanted to go out while the reputation of the cleaners was still first rate, Katie Baker said.

The owners and 12 employees, included six pressers, four counter attendants, a shirt presser and a route driver, most of whom have been with the cleaners for years, will throw a party on Friday to celebrate the good times.

"We appreciate our customers and everyone has been so loyal," Katie Baker said. "There have been so many tears and hugs that I'm numb now."