A for-real end of an era at 626 E. 14th St., where Sun's Laundry has closed... several EVG readers told us that family members gathered here on Saturday to officially say goodbye to the business that Robert Lee opened with his father in this storefront between Avenue B and Avenue C in 1959...
In recent years Mr. Lee had reduced the business hours to two to three days a week as he contemplated retirement. The shop closed at the start of the COVID-19 PAUSE, and only recently reopened so patrons could retrieve any remaining items.
A nephew, Robert Gee, told Gothamist that the decision to close was made for the family with the COVID-19 crisis.
For Lee, 84, and his wife, Wai Hing Lee, 76, who works alongside him, commuting to the shop from their home in Elmhurst, Queens, was too big of a risk during the pandemic.
"With stay-at-home, there's no need for work clothes," said Gee. "And even earlier than that, the rise of business-casual attire in the workplace has had an impact on the Chinese laundry business because there’s less dry cleaning and less pressed blouses needed for work."
Building resident (since 1981) Carol Kostik told Gothamist: "It does feel like the end of an era with times changing in New York, but Mr. Lee has earned his retirement many times over, so we all wish him well."
Thank you to @NycAuntie for the photos!