The slightly musty store, always packed with unique goods, served island residents and tourists for many decades from its location at 2022 Strand in downtown Galveston. "Today I've just been crying a lot, saying goodbye to 42 years here," owner Suzie Reiswerg told the Galveston Daily News on Wednesday. "It's the end of an era."
Reiswerg and her husband Meyer — the original Col. Bubbie himself — opened the store in 1972. He died five years ago, leaving her in charge. Although she says it has been a great run, "after 42 years, I'm ready to enter retirement," she told CultureMap last spring.
"We're definitely doing this on a high note. No bankruptcy, nothing bad has happened, it's simply just the right time."
The no-frills warehouse emporium, which billed itself as "the free world's only AUTHENTIC military surplus store," was stacked high with merchandise ranging from military uniforms from more countries than there are in the United Nations to medals, ribbons, awards and insignia as well as a large inventory of military back packs, sleeping bags, tents, blankets, ponchos, cold weather gear, hot weather gear, boots, medical urinals and other items.
She told the Galveston Daily News that generally the store's best-sellers were vintage grenades, although in recent months, items with the Col. Bubbie's name grew substantially more popular.
According to Reiswerg, most of the leftover stock has been sold to a liquidation company. She plans to stay in Galveston and will sell the building after the inventory has been cleared out.