Shortly after winning a 2021 Best of the Best award from Charlotte Magazine, Long’s Dry Cleaning is closing its last Charlotte location this Friday.
Unfortunately, no collection of accolades could save this struggling family-owned business. It’s the latest local staple to fall victim to financial troubles caused by the pandemic.
“Economically, it’s the best way to do it … it’s the only way to do it,” said owner Rick Long.
Flashback: The business launched in 1965, and eventually expanded to six locations across Charlotte and nearby South Carolina. Long is the second-generation owner and he’s hoping the family legacy will continue.
“It’s been in my life since I was six years old,” he said.
Why: Lack of employees and the pandemic. An employee at Long’s tells me that residents used to walk in all the time asking for jobs. As the pandemic persisted, that came to a screeching halt.
- Eventually, they ran out of manpower to run both the Sharon Road and the Morehead locations, so they downsized.
- Now, they’re leaving Charlotte.
What’s next: Long tells me he hopes to one day bring his family’s dry cleaning services back to the Queen City.
- For now, the clothes left behind will be donated and the equipment is already being taken to the Rock Hill location.
- The Tega Cay and Rock Hill locations are still open.