"It's just sad. I never thought it would come to this but at 82 I just decided I'm getting a little tired out," said Bartikowsky Jewelers' President/CEO Max Bartikowsky. The man some call "Uncle Max" is a Bartikowsky Jewelers fixture. He began working as a teen at his grandfather's business in the 1940s sweeping floors and cleaning windows before rising through the ranks. "I built the business from the way I thought it could be more personalized, taking care of people where we could," he said.
The Bartikowskys brought their jewelry store to this South Main Street location in 1978 and for two generations of customers, it's all they've ever known. Founder Max Bartikowsky opened the original location on Market Street in 1887. Eventually the business moved to other downtown locations -- including this one pictured on public square. But it's always been that Bartikowsky brand that customers loved. "When you came here you knew that you were getting what you were paying for," said Dolores Vida of Dupont who left on Friday with a new pair of earrings and some precious memories. "It was just a joy to come. It's like, you know, you were family." Ms. Insalaco added, "It's too bad. You hate, you know, to see him go because really you felt comfortable coming here."
The owners of Bartikowsky Jewelers say the going out of business sale that starts Tuesday will feature deep discounts. The owners expect to close the store sometime in January.