Legendary Tallahassee Tailor Passes Away

By: Charlene Cristobal
August 22, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The life of the renowned tailor Nic Gavalas, founder of Nic's Toggery, starts back in the 1950's. He was 27-years-old when he decided he wanted to open his own store.

"My father opened his first store in 1950 on a whim and a prayer," said Mike Gavalas, son of Nic Gavalas. "He borrowed $500 from his father-in-law, he was living in Live Oak at the time, and decided to open a store in Tallahassee because it was a college town and the Capitol was there, and it looked like there was a lot of great activity."

Nic's Toggery officially opened it's doors on June 24, 1950. From there, a legend was born.

From older generations..."From World War II and the Korean War, they came to FSU as older people and they came in and didn't really have any money," said Mike Gavalas. "He actually would give them credit. And now, their children actually come back and shop with us."

To newer generations..."One of the first things I knew I had to do was dress the part if I was going to be successful in politics and in government at a young age," said Jackson County Commissioner Jeremy Branch. "So, the first place I went was Nic's Toggery in Tallahassee to update my wardrobe or be it, so I would look the part."

It's clear that Gavalas made a great impact on the city of Tallahassee. Nic Gavalas passed away Thursday night at the age of 91 from pneumonia.

"The greatest lesson I probably have every learned from my father was to be good to people," said Mike Gavalas. "Treat them with respect, no matter who they were."

Support from all over the city came pouring in after the news hit of Nic Gavalas' passing.

Lobbyist Taylor Patrick Biehl says, "Nic's is a Tallahassee staple, where presidential hopefuls and lobbyists alike have shopped for decades. Nic was a businessman but more importantly a friend to everyone in Tallahassee. He was a principled man that respected the patron as we all respected him."

Funeral arrangements have been set for Monday, August 25, at the Holy Mother of God Greek Orthodox Church.

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