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Mom-and-Pop Clothing Store on 37th Avenue to Close After More Than 40 Years

Photo: The Ultimate Look (QueensPost)

Dec. 28, 2018 By Meghan Sackman

A women’s clothing store that has been on 37th Avenue for more than 40 years is closing at the end of the year.

The Ultimate Look, located at 79-16 37th Ave., will close on Dec. 31, as its owners, Ronnie and Asher Ianceu, a husband and wife duo, have decided to retire. The couple first opened the boutique together in 1975.

Asher said he and his wife put “store closing” signs on the boutique’s windows on Dec. 6, and that customers began flooding the boutique the next day. Within three days, most of their merchandise was gone.

Many customers were saddened, he said, that they were leaving after all these years.

“I would never have believed it,” Asher, 74, told the Jackson Heights Post. “People came by in tears saying, ‘How can you do that? You don’t look so old,’ but there comes a point where we have to do it.”

Asher, from Romania, and Ronnie, from Israel, immigrated to New York in their early 20s.

Asher moving to Astoria with his family and studying textile engineering at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he met Ronnie, who was studying fashion marketing at the time and living in Woodside.

The couple eventually got married and lived in Woodside before moving to Great Neck, where they still reside today. They have two daughters together, currently 37 and 40 years old.

The Ianceus opened their Jackson Heights boutique after seeing an advertisement in the New York Times.

The pair loved the location, and eventually expanded the store in 1981, when they took over the space next door that had been a beauty salon. Ronnie took care of customer relations, while Asher handled the administrative side of the business.

Over the years, the pair have sold many different styles of clothing to keep up with changing clientele and fashion trends, which they credit for helping them stay in business.

Ronnie, 68, said her first customers in the 1970s mostly wanted conservative dresses, while trends in the 80s called for more colorful clothing, with customers also expressing interest in pants.

The Ultimate Look (QueensPost)

Today, outer and athletic wear reign supreme, Ronnie said, adding that she picked up Spanish to better communicate with her customers.

“I gave my life to the neighborhood, but that’s what a small store in the neighborhood should do,” Ronnie said. “You have to care about people, and I love my people.”

The couple looks forward to retirement and they plan to stay busy with their young grandchildren and visiting Florida to escape the cold weather.

It is yet to be determined what will replace the store.

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A Woodsider

I am sorry your store is closing. Never left your store without purchasing “something special”. I would “reward myself” after my trips to the dentist, next door! What will I do now? Enjoy your retirement Ronnie and Asher!

JHeights my whole life

R.I.P. to all the great stores from the 74th st. to 82nd st. On or near 37th ave. Now I will name some Jackson Heights classics from the 80’s. Lamstone 5 and 10 cent store on 74th st. which is now Patel Bros supermarket. Rock bottom Discount which is now TD bank. Cards and gifts on 37 and 77. The mighty mighty Discount books comic book store on 78 and 37th ave. The great Numbers and records which was a holy ground for Queens d.j.’s and aspiring musicians on 78 and 37th and the second Numbers that was on the corner where the bank is. Bars toy store which is now the Thai restaurant next to Starbucks. Bars used to do the epic window displays with Transformers, G.I. Joe and the other classic 80’s toys. Maram pharmacy, Washington Discount, where everyone in town went to get their watch battery changed and where all my fellow St. Joan of Arc students went to buy stop watches in 1988 or 89 I think to resemble Flava Flav. Flagship video on 78th st. and Leisure video on 81st. And 37th ave where back in the day you could rent a new release movie for 99 cents as long as you returned it rewinded before 5pm the same day (I remember running from my house on 77th st just before 5pm many times to not yet charged an extra day. Woolworths and Genovese pharmacy on 82nd. And of course the 3 movie theatres on 82nd st. The one on Northern, the Colony between 37 and Roosevelt and the Jackson theater between Roosevelt and Hampton street now a construction site for a future Target store. Oh and for the 2018 in memoriam IHOP on Northern. Shout out to Ricky’s Diner, Isabel’s salon, and Jahns for most if not all of my life. Peace Jackson Heights your eternal son J Heights my whole life.


Can we have something other than
a nail salon, 99 cents
store, pharmacy
or Pizza shop ?
Richie V
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts

Barbara Jacobs

Happy retirement to Ronnie and Asher. We were the gift shop next door for many years. They were good neighbors.

JHeights my whole life

Thank you for serving this neighborhood for since 1975. And thank you for staying in the neighborhood when crime was high in the eighties and early nineties and so many residents fled for the suburbs. Thank you for not leaving after 9/11 when every New York City resident contemplated getting the hell out of here as we waited and wondered if and when there would be more attacks. Thank you for not shutting down in the past 15 years when the rents both residential and commercial were rising at a drastic rate too much too fast. Thank you Asher and Ronnie for the Ultimate Look.


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