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With Lease Lost, Raleigh Costume Shop Will Fade

Posted June 11, 2007
Updated June 12, 2007

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— A landmark business in Raleigh — the Raleigh Creative Costume shop — is dropping the curtain on a career of renting out the outfits of the past.

The owner throughout the store’s run has been one owner Doug Haas — and no, her name is not a disguise.

Haas has run Raleigh Creative Costumes for 32 years, but her run will end with the month of July in her current location on Hillsborough Street.

“I opened in '75,” Haas said, and she has 8,000 square feet of outfits and accessories.

“We do a lot of theater,” she said. You can be anything you want to be in her shop, though there sometimes are extra requirements.

“There's some basic things in history that they should know,” Haas said of her customers — like the kid who wanted a Confederate costume.

“I asked him if he wanted to be Jeb Stuart because I was gonna put a feather in his hat if he did. And he said, ‘Who's Jeb Stuart?’ And I said, ‘I will not rent you this costume until you come back with a paper at least one page tell me who Jeb Stuart is,’” Haas recalls, laughing.

“I bet he's never forgotten who Jeb Stuart was.”

No one will be getting that kind of lesson anymore, however.

The landlord has raised the rent, Haas has lost the lease, the costume shop is closing and everything is for sale.

“It's just like giving away kittens or puppies that I wanna be sure they go to good homes,” Haas said.

“Oh, I've loved it!”


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  • shine Jun 12, 2007

    What a neat shop - Don't know why she is leaving other than the lease. It has been a Raleigh icon for years.

  • Michael Kenyon Jun 12, 2007

    Doug isn't much to look at, but Doug Jr - Boy O Boy!

    "The owner throughout the store’s run has been one owner" - is this some sort of koan?

  • PDMARTIN Jun 12, 2007

    You guys keep saying "HE". The person who owns the shop is a woman with the name of Doug. Please get her gender correct, I'd bet she'd appreciate that. I saw the piece on TV last nite and I'm sorrys she's losing her lifes business.

  • sclptrjoel Jun 12, 2007

    It seems the landlord assured her of only a normal rent increase. Then, when she was not there, brought some people through to view the building. Afterwards, he avoided her and wouldn't return phone calls for more than a month. Finally, he showed up to announced he had decided to nearly double the rent! leaving her almost no time to find an alternative place. As it is she has to pay thousands of dollars in extra rent to stay two more months to close the place. He may well have been within his legal rights, but it certainly does strike me as very unethical. Pity the next person who is going to do business with this man at the Royal Bakery Mall while paying twice as much for the privilage.

  • davidgnews Jun 12, 2007

    That was cool that she wouldn't rent the confederate uniform until the guy KNEW who Jeb Stuart was - obviously trying to wear the uniform for the WRONG reasons, if you know what I mean Vern !

  • Matilda Jun 12, 2007

    No, The Tudorshoppe deal fell through. When the landlord jacked the rent up so much the The Tudorshoppe backed out of the deal.

    On July 31, the store is closing for good. Everything is being sold off.

  • twobits Jun 12, 2007

    I heard that the Tudor Shoppe bought the business, back when the Ren Faire was in town. So, if that's still the case, the owner knew this was going to happen and decided to sell. There will still be costume shop, just owned by a different person.

  • Jenbo Jun 12, 2007

    >He probably didn't "lose" his lease, probably just didn't want to pay the rent increase. Landlord's have to adjust for inflation just like everyone else.

    It's not necessarily a question of not wanting to pay, but being perhaps being able to afford the increase. Greed may be a factor too. One of my favorite restaurants in San Diego was forced out when the landlord raised the rent astronomically at the end of the lease. The property was in a prime location, he wanted to sell and he couldn't legally evict them. By raising the rent to a level they couldn't afford to pay, he was able to get rid of them. (And we may see something similar with homeowners -- with the way property values are rising, property taxes may go up enough with reassessments that senior citizens living on fixed incomes may not be able to afford the taxes on homes they've lived in for decades.)

  • justin Jun 12, 2007

    He probably didn't "lose" his lease, probably just didn't want to pay the rent increase. Landlord's have to adjust for inflation just like everyone else.

  • bammer66 Jun 12, 2007

    I hear there is a new gentelmens club coming to town... wonder if it will be the here.