By: Limor Ben Ami Special to the Delray newspaper
Bruce Gimmy, the owner of “The Trouser Shop” in downtown Delray Beach is retiring after 32 years on the Ave., at the age of 74.
Being an iconic fixture on the Ave., Gimmy, the owner of his property and shop, said he rejected many offers throughout the years in order to stay on the Ave.
“I had people come to me with offers for years,” he said. “One of them offered me a million dollars. He wanted to tear down the wall (with the attached newsstand) and build a 3-story building with stores. We didn’t let it happen”.
For Gimmy, it’s not the money that eventually drove him to retirement. His wife of 47 years is the driving force behind the decision.
“One night after six glasses of wine she told me (with a pointing finger) ‘you’re too old to be on the Ave.,” he said. “The secret for his long marriage he believes is humor. She’s my favorite insulter.”
Although he is retiring and closing the Trouser Shop, he is keeping ownership of the property and looking to rent it out.
He is currently seeking a sustainable business to rent the store, ideally a retailer from the north that is seeking to have a store in Florida.
Gimmy feels content that now is the time. His plans are to fulfill his bucket list of travel and go to Australia to see his grandson, visit New Zeland, stop by a friend in South Africa, and travel to China, South America and the U.K.
“It’s mixed feelings, but I know it’s time,” he said.
September is the deadline he gave himself to retire. For now everything in the shop is 20-50 percent off. Whatever is left will go to charity.
The history of the Ave. is reflected in his eyes as he recalls the transformation: “I remember the Ave when it was a 4-lane road, with telephone wires everywhere. When we went through the beautification we knew it’s going to change a lot, and if we’re lucky, which we were, it would become popular, bring investors, large stores, taxes will go up.”
He said he misses the old Ave.
“We couldn’t stop it though. How can you stop it? You can’t. Time moves on,” he said of its changes.
His main concern for the town is parking and congestion. He’s been on the parking board for the city for the last 25 years and started the parking study committee.
“I watched the Ave get really good, but it can now get bad,” he said.
The traffic and lack of parking he believes will drive people away.
“People will want to come here but give up thinking they have no where to park,” he said.
Bruce resides with his wife at Ocean Ridge. He owns his home near the beach since the 1950s.
“I got offers on that house, too,” he said. “Everyone wants to buy it. But I love it, why would I sell it?”
He “escaped” from New Jersey 37 years ago and moved to Delray. “The cold and the gambling” triggered the escape (as he calls it).
During a recent visit at the shop Gimmy kept busy. The phone was ringing. A woman walked in to pick up her fixed clothes. A guy walked in to buy colorful crab trousers. The mail lady walked in and they had an argument about a missed package. He knows the people based on their taste in clothes.
Pointing at a wild color tie he says, “This is a ‘loud mouth’ tie.” You can see his love for the action the store provides him.
Although he’s retiring, he is not going anywhere. He will still reside and own the store real estate right here and his home in Ocean Ridge. He is also going to launch an online business – He owns trousershop.com for 20 years now and hasn’t done anything with it yet.