For more than than six decades, if you wanted to buy men’s clothes in downtown Statesville, you probably wound up at Plyler’s Men’s Clothing & Formal Wear.
Owner LeRoy Plyler retired in January after 40 years; in recognition, the city honored Plyler with the 2014 Mayor’s Cup award.
The Mayor’s Cup is presented annually by the Statesville Community Appearance Commission to the person or organization that has made a significant contribution to improving the appearance of Statesville. As Plyler was officially honored at the City Council’s Feb.2 meeting, Mayor Costi Kutteh described this year’s award as more of a lifetime-achievement recognition.
“LeRoy has been a positive influence in the downtown area for some 40 years, through his support and enthusiasm for downtown, for streetscape, and maintaining a very attractive store at the corner of Broad and Center streets.”
The Plyler family has operated a clothing store in downtown Statesville for 68 years. Though the stores have moved to different locations, they have stayed within a block of their Broad and Center location. Plyler’s closed for good in January this year, but city officials note Plyler and his brother, Joe, were major players in the redevelopment of downtown in the early 1980s.
“When I was hired in Statesville, there were many who did not believe downtown could be revived,” said Hilary Greenberg, Statesville’s first Main Street Program director. “The Plyler brothers were one of the first businesses to embrace the program. He’s remained an advocate throughout the years.”
For his part, Plyler, 71, said he thinks the city’s downtown is on the move again.
“By their nature, downtown shopping areas go through good times, then bad times, then back to good times. If we can get something into the old Vance Hotel, and combine that with the streetscape work, I think good days lie ahead for downtown,” he said.
Plyler also said he has no regrets on his retirement.
“I had been considering it for about two years, and the time was right,” he said. A trip to Florida, listening to some of his favorite music, and work around the house should keep him busy.
Previous recipients of the Mayor’s Cup include the American Renaissance School; Save-A-Lot Grocery Store; Jeff Archer of First Flight Bicycle; John and LeAnda Barnard, owner of the Barnard-Lippard building; and Gloria Hager, owner of Gigi’s Arts, Frames, and Gifts.
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.