Wolf Brothers Western Store rides off into sunset
Iconic store traces roots to 1920s, at same location since 1972
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The neon cowboy will soon be a lonesome reminder of an iconic part of Omaha history.
Wolf Brothers Western Store will close its doors on Dodge Street for good at the end of August. Four generations of family ownership come to an end as local investors made the Kirshenbaum family an unexpected offer for the property, and they decided it was time to ride off into the sunset.
A group of investors approached the family about selling the location earlier this summer. The offer surprised them but ultimately made sense.
”This part of town, they’re redoing the whole town,” Tom Kirshenbaum said. “The Crossroads has been torn down, they’re rebuilding it, and they’re tearing down buildings all over, and this will be a whole different part of town in a few years so we just thought this would be the right time to do this.”
Tom and his brother Bill walked through the memories at the Dodge location, recounting the times when famous people made their way in, sometimes just to kick up their boots.
“It’s sad to close the store up, but really we’re gonna miss the customers,” Bill Kershenbaum said. “We’ve become really good friends with the customers. We’re sort of like Cheers, customers just come in and stop by just to say hi.”
Tom showed off photos of past rodeo champions and celebrities. Hundreds of photos cover the walls upstairs and down. Roy and Dale. The Lone Ranger. Legendary cowboys and cowgirls and all of the Aksarben Rodeo Queens.
In the first two weeks after announcing they would close, a majority of the existing stock was sold. Even fixtures and old western furniture is up for sale.
They plan to move their remaining merchandise, and some specialty elements of their business, to their sister store Boots For Less. They’re also renaming that location in hopes of preserving some of the legends.
It will be known as Western Brothers Boots For Less. The store was originally located downtown in the 1920s, closer to the stockyards and the rodeo world. It was eventually relocated in 1972 to the Dodge Road location.
The neon cowboy that has served as a cowboy beacon for nearly 50 years was also part of the sale. The new owners tell the Kirshenbaum’s they intend to preserve the iconic sign.
Ryan Ellis, CEO of P.J. Morgan Real Estate, did not reply to requests for comment on the sale.
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