San Jose

Diaz Menswear to close after nearly 40 years in downtown San Jose

NBC Universal, Inc.

Another store is closing its doors in downtown San Jose.

The latest closure will be Diaz Menswear with the owner retiring after nearly 40 years in business.

Alfredo Diaz said he has been rewarded for his commitment to downtown San Jose with great customers. The clients include loyal customers, but also famous ones like boxer Leon Spinks, actor Charles Bronson, and singer James Brown.

Diaz opened his store in 1985. Many visit the business for his hats.

"They have unique stuff," said Ruben Paredes, a loyal customer of Diaz Menswear. "A lot of unique stuff, which is awesome."

Over the decades, the store has survived a variety of what could have been devastating blows. Some of the challenges Diaz's store has survived include burglaries, vandalism, multiple recessions, and the construction of a light rail, which closed off nearby streets to his customers.

Diaz Menswear was able to plow ahead through the obstacles.

The secret?

"Work very hard," Diaz said. "And also the support of my wife."

Diaz's wife, Maria, said Alfredo himself has been the secret. Over the years he has given an unhoused person outside his doors money and has helped customers read their utility bills or fill out applications.

"Customer service," Maria said as a key to the business' success. "Alfredo has been very kind to his customers."

Diaz came to San Jose from Mexico in 1975 and immediately fell in love with downtown.

He poured his savings into the store and has decided to hang it up and retire.

Diaz on July 30 will turn in the keys to his longtime store -- not because he got pushed out or priced out, but because he made it and now it is time.

"It's going to be very sad," he said. "Especially something that I work so hard to build and now I'm going to close it."

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