Real Deal - Staff Pick
Best Century-Old Business Reborn Under a New Name
R. Hirt Jr.'s retail store
Published: April 25, 2012
2468 Market St., Detroit;
Longtime patrons of Detroit's Eastern Market got a good scare last year with the announcement that the venerable R. Hirt Jr. company, founded in 1887 and run by four generations of the same family, was closing its doors. As it turned out, fortunately for fans of the vendor of specialty goods, the store was actually closing for a mild renovation, passing back into the hands of another Hirt descendant, the man who ran it until recently, David DeVries. The renovations and renaming were to be done by March, but it seems early May is a more likely opening date. DeVries tells people, "The business is 124 years old; if we have to take a few months off, I think they'll understand." We're still hazy on what the renamed venture will be called, but the old-fashioned charm should remain, with a few updates. One wag in the know joked that "the store will be 'modernized' — from an 1891 format closer to a 1912 format."