DENVER (KDVR) — Coronavirus concerns continue to impact local businesses, threatening to close a longtime Denver landmark.
Duman’s Custom Tailor has been on East Colfax Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood for nearly six decades. However, its sales have been slashed by 85% since the pandemic hit in March.
Owner Steve Duman, 62, said, “It’s one of the oldest existing businesses in the same location for 58 years in Denver.”
The family-owned business was originally created by his father, Maurice Duman, in 1962.
Duman says his father was orphaned and became a tailor’s apprentice a young age.
During World War II, he says Nazis sent his Dad to Warsaw and then a Siberian concentration camp where he used his expertise as a tailor to sew uniforms for soldiers.
“Because of that he got to sleep in a little bit better place, he got to eat a little bit better because he was among the Russians and he was no threat to him. And they liked him,” said Duman.
Duman says being a tailor ultimately saved his life, eventually allowing him to meet his wife and move to the United States where they called Denver home.
“My parents worked very hard, worked, you know, 12 hours a day, and did everything they could to give us the best possible life,” he shared.
Maurice eventually opened Duman’s, and worked in the shop until he was 90 years old.
As a child, Steve Duman helped out his father by doing odd jobs around the store, which in his later years allowed him to take over the business.
He says business was good up until the coronavirus took its toll.
“We’ve had days where we haven’t broken $100 and those days are very difficult to make up,” he said. “If it gets too far out of hand and we can’t pay or keep up with all the bills, then we’ll have to close. And then I’ll have to reevaluate.”
Duman doesn’t want any handouts. Rather, he hopes he sees some new or regular customers come in to get items altered.