Uptown Cleaners has seen its fair share of makeovers over the last 61 years, but the store's most recent renovation is creating quite the buzz downtown.
"This older gentleman said 'Are you going back to the 1970s?' and I had no idea what he was talking about."
Chris Haddad, general manager of Uptown Cleaners, was on vacation when construction crews removed the current sign that hung above the store entrance on Lisgar St.
"I looked up and it was the original Uptown Cleaners sign," he said. "I had no idea that it was even there."
The brightly coloured orange and yellow sign was hand-painted in the early '60s. Chris' father, Greg, remembers when his father covered up the vintage sign in the '70s.
"It looked really old and tacky in those days," Greg said. "Now it's retro but back then it had to go."
Word of the retro sign spread through Facebook and the Haddads said they've received a lot of calls and emails from people who were excited that the store seemed to be going back to its roots.
But unfortunately the vintage sign will not stay.
"It doesn't work with our plans," Chris said. "Had I known about it a year ago, I would have had the architect incorporate it."
The roots of Uptown Cleaners go back four generations and has been in the family since it began as a tailor shop in 1952. In that time the company changed with the times, offering dry-cleaning services by the mid-50s and this new renovation will see a large fitting room for bridal alterations.
Aside from the vintage sign, the family also uncovered a six-pack of Coca-Cola which they found buried outside, several day books, and a rusty Prince Albert tobacco tin that Greg believes may be from the 1920s.
"I've never seen anything like that," Greg said. "It's kinda cool."
Renovations are expected to be finished within the next few months. Until then, the family is going to think of a way to pay homage to the retro sign and all the other treasures they've discovered thus far.