Approximately two months after being sold to a still-unnamed buyer, the 96-year-old Triangle Sporting Goods, occupying the intersection of Fifth, Flatbush, and Dean, has closed. The gates have been rolled down for over a week, and phone calls have gone unanswered.
One of the oldest establishments in the borough, Triangle started as an Army surplus store in 1916, run by Betsy Shapiro. Army shoes, cots, and raincoats were soon joined by guns and fishing supplies, and in the 1940s the store essentially became what it was until it closed, after taking over the second floor from a dentist.
It was a charmingly cramped hodgepodge of sporting goods and work clothes, cobbled together over the years, and while much of the walls were covered over by white racks, you get the feeling that years of history are still lurking underneath. It was a quintessential independent neighborhood business, and longtime owner Henry Rosa, who started working there as a teenager, resisted requests to sell for years before finally deciding to take a buyout and retire comfortably.
There's been a push to bring upscale tenants to the neighborhood as the Barclays Center reaches its opening date, and neighborhood uber-landlord Michael Pintchik recently said that he'd like to bring an Apple Store into the area (he also rejected reported attempts by Hooters to move in). It's unclear who the historic building's next tenant will be (I've heard it will be a restaurant, but that's it), but one thing's for certain: There'll never be another store quite like Triangle.
Founder Betsy Shapiro in 1916