Note: I originally published this June 3 but, because of a wordpress categorization error (read: I’m an idiot), it was not posted.
Preston-Royal’s Going Out of Business Store (Cyrus Rug Gallery for the uninitiated) finally shut its doors on May 20 to make way for a Mattress Firm. I spoke with a not-entirely-welcoming Cyrus Hassankola when I was trying to figure out what was happening on the southwest corner of Preston Road and Royal Lane (rumor was the old Shell station and the adjacent strip of businesses, including the rug gallery, were to be razed. They weren’t). He told me he didn’t know where he would relocate before asking me to leave.
So I did a double take when I spotted the familiar yellow truck promising oriental rugs at a 70 percent discount (I’m a writer, not a photographer) not at its normal Preston Road perch but over on Lovers Lane, just west of Inwood Road. It was parked at Foster Fine Cleaners, so I thought at first that the rugs might be there for cleaning. But the folks at the cleaners pointed me a couple of doors down to an unsigned (workers were in the middle of putting up signage) but definitely open reincarnation of Cyrus Rug Gallery.
The layout and vibe are much the same. Bare concrete floors and exposed ceiling with stacks of imported rugs, all of which were discounted 50 percent off their listed retail price. There is a desk at the back with a vase of flowers and a computer, beside which is a small table containing a cordless phone, calculator, and credit card machine. On one wall is a plaque featuring the June 24, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal, on which Hassankola is featured for his distinctive business style. It’s not a particularly flattering (or particularly unflattering, I suppose) article, though I’d probably be partial to any paper with one of those WSJ pen-and-ink sketches of me on the cover
Hassankola was much more genial now that he wasn’t being forced out (more or less) of his space. He told me the new location was a huge improvement over the Preston Road digs, which he said was falling apart. “The other one was a mess,” he said. “It was catastrophic.” He said he’s opened a second location in Allen.
Other than the location, nothing has changed, Hassankola said. So, if you’re looking for a great deal on rugs…