Retailer to Open Shop in Former Smith Brothers Building

Duluth Trading Company has signed a 6-year lease and will move into the building in downtown Port Washington this fall.

Port Washington officials are celebrating what Mayor Scott Huebner calls a win for the city: retail store Duluth Trading Company has signed a 6-year lease for the former Smith Brother's building and is hoping to open its store in fall 2012.

Duluth Trading Company is an apparel retailer that sells "workwear" for men and women, according to its website. Huebner said the store will fill the entire first floor of the building, and also take over the , where it is considering adding a menu.

The store, a Wisconsin-based busines, only has one other location in Mt. Horeb; Huebner said that store draws 300,000 customers in from outside Mt. Horeb, and the company is hopeful it will do the same for Port.

"As people come from Milwaukee to shop there, they will shop at the other stores (in Port) and that will be a great thing," Port Washington Mayor Scott Huebner said.

Steve Schlecht, CEO of Duluth Trading Co., chose Port Washington as the home of the company’s second retail store for good reason, according to a press release from the company.

"The Port Washington area and landmark Smith Bros. Fish Shanty in the heart of the historic downtown will make this Duluth Trading store a destination,” Schlecht said in the press release. "We’re fortunate to have found the Smith Bros. building and look forward to becoming part of a vital downtown Port Washington."

More from the press release:

The Smith Bros. landmark building in Port Washington, which has served as a symbol of the city’s rich fishing heritage since it was built by the Smith family in 1954, has been a destination for locals and tourists for its locally caught fish. It is located prominently on the city’s picturesque main street at 100 North Franklin Street, and offers sweeping views of Lake Michigan, the marina and the historic art deco lighthouse.  

Duluth Trading’s flagship store in Mount Horeb opened in 2010 in an 1882 mercantile building, home to the village’s hardware store for over 100 years. Schlecht wanted the company’s second store to have a similar look and feel, which was why he chose the iconic Port Washington building.

Duluth Trading will make extensive renovations to the 8,000 square feet of selling space before opening, and will also be hiring a local management team and associates from the Port Washington area.

Robert B. February 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
That's great news and I'm glad they will be taking up the entire building. They are buying the coffee shop as well and will run that? I'm a little confused about that part. I'd like to hear from the current 12% of the pole who would like something else in that space. Seems like a nice store if you check out their website.
Lyssa Beyer (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 06:04 PM
They are taking over the coffee shop, and, according to the Mayor ... it will be incorporated into their store, and they might add a menu. I got the picture that it would be a similar set up to having a Starbucks inside a Barnes and Noble.
Neil A Rubble February 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
WOW! Quite the score for Port Washington. Exactly the type of store Port needs. Looking forward to shopping here. Great company and could turn into a destination retailer.
Joe S. February 16, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Excellent stone for the downtown! For those who aren't familiar with their products, I think you'll be pleasently surprised, especially for men. I've been swearing by their work jeans for years. Expensive, but well worth the money........
Greg February 17, 2012 at 01:23 AM
A pair of fire hose pants, with my name on them, will get me to slow down in downtown. This is great news, I hope it draws other businesses.
Gail Bennett February 17, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Great news!!! That empty space was really hard for Port to build momentum on its Main Street project. I can't wait to see it!


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