Bromwell's going strong 190 years in with new art gallery space

It was just shy of 200 years ago that Bromwell's got its start in downtown Cincinnati.  While the owners and store have changed over the years, its presence downtown and in Cincinnati's retail scene has not.

Jeff McClorey bought the famed business in 2005 and became only the third owner in the store's 190 year old history. 

"I'm a big advocate for urban living and unique urban stores, and Bromwell's stands for just that," said McClorey.

Immediately following the purchase, McClorey began upgrading the store space located in Cincinnati's historic West Fourth Street district. The upgrades included additional space, new finishes, showrooms and lots of intricate details including the front of an old English pub that acts as the wall for McClorey's office on the second floor.  A new change for the gallery is a focus on art.

"We're now primarily focused on art and fireplace designs and accessories," said McClorey.

A new 3,200 square-foot gallery space on the second floor compliments the fireplace showrooms and allows for accesible displays of art work.  The showrooms also feature 25 burning fireplace designs that have received accolades from the local design community.

The new gallery space is overseen by Evan Hildebrandt who has his own studio on the third floor of the building.

"We're trying to educate the public about art; it's a major aspect of what we're doing," said Hildebrandt.  "We really want to get some of the best art in the city, and are aiming to show Cincinnati a different kind of art gallery; one that is more approachable."

Those interested can get a complete look at Bromwell's showrooms and the new art gallery on Friday, November 6. The store's third art show will feature the works of more than 20 artists including Bromwell's resident artist Hildebrandt and Tom Shaw, a local artist with an international following. 

The showing, featuring a DJ and refreshments, is free and open to the public and will take place from 6 to 9pm at 117 W. Fourth Street (map).  Hildebrandt also says that many of the featured artists will be on hand to discuss their work.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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