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Gentlemen’s Quarter closes doors, bids La Jolla fond farewell

They were successful women in a men’s industry, but the time has come to close up shop.

Ruby and Romy Eichler, the mother-daughter team that operated Gentlemen’s Quarter for more than 20 years on Prospect Street, are in the midst of a liquidation sale. They decided as a team to move on.

“Business is still good. We still did well,” Ruby Eichler said. “We just made a decision. It was time to let it go. We’re trying to sell the furniture and the fixtures, sell as much as we can.”

The pair intend to close up shop by the end of April. Ruby is going back to Michigan for a while to be with family and decide what’s next. Romy is moving on to other things.

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“I’m getting married and doing some personal shopping for my best clients,” she said.

The change will be a significant one for Romy’s mother.

“After 30 years of every day going to work,” Ruby Eichler said, “it’s going to be a little different.”

The couple have left their mark on La Jolla’s retail clothiers.

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“I was probably one of the first men’s stores in the country that had women working there,” said mom Ruby Eichler. “I only had women (sales clerks) for many years. I had workshops that taught the girls to be like a brother and work with men. Men had confidence in the girls. They knew what they were doing and they knew how to work with the guys.”

Romy Eichler has 1,000 names on a client list she’s cultivated over the years. One of the things the Eichlers are most proud of is their best clients trust them without reservation. One customer flies in on his private jet just to shop.

“I’ll put everything together for him. Romy Eichler said. He’s got a phenomenal camera and takes pictures of all the different combinations with that suit. He’ll tell me to mix and match them, and then he leaves. He’ll send me suits and say, ‘Can you put shirts and ties with it?’ ”

Ruby Eichler started her business in the Flower Hill shopping mall in Del Mar in 1976 in a tiny 700-square-foot space.

“I started out with blue jeans and silk shirts, and from there I grew,” she said. “I’d never sold retail, knew nothing about it. People heard that we had silk shirts and we’d get phone calls. People would come in from all over just to see a silk shirt for $120. They couldn’t believe there was such an animal.”

A couple years later, Ruby Eichler opened a second store in downtown La Jolla near Top O’ The Cove restaurant before moving 10 years ago to the current location. She started bringing in Italian lines like Canali and Armani.

“Department stores didn’t have them,” she said. “They didn’t have them at Saks. We just really brought fashion to San Diego when we first opened.”

What was key to her business sucess was something very simple to Ruby Eichler.

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“I had a passion for what I was