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A clean break as popular Bogards closes after 39 years

Archway dry cleaners has helped customers with everything from broken-down cars to looking after their keys

02 July, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Mustafa and Oktay Mustafa outside Bogards Dry Cleaners in Hazelville Road

IT opened nearly four decades ago as a family business, cleaning residents’ clothes in and around Archway.

But Bogards Dry Cleaners has gone above and beyond, helping customers with life troubles, from their cars breaking down to looking after their keys.

Now, after 39 years in Hazelville Road, Mustafa Mustafa and his father Oktay Mustafa are shutting up shop.

“We’ve had customers crying when they hear the news,” said 38-year-old Mustafa. “We did not actually realise until we put the sign up saying we were closing how much we impacted the area.

“I think it’s really hit home lately when a customer brought their child in and the child said ‘who are we going to go to for help when we need it?’

“We are more than a dry cleaners as everyone knows they can come to us when they need something.”

Oktay, 68, opened the shop on the corner of Dresden Road before semi-retiring and handing over the management to his then 23-year-old son in 2004.

Mustafa and Oktay with the shop’s original artwork… spelled with a ‘T’

The business was originally going to be called “Bogarts” after actor Humphrey Bogart because of the shop’s 1930s design. However, when the painters came to draw the sign in the 1980s it was misspelt with a “D”.

“We got stuck with Bogards,” Oktay said.

“We used to have people walking in talking in French because Bogard is a French surname. But we grew to love it and we were then Bogards, as simple as that.”

“I learnt how to dry clean from my dad, I had worked there since I was about 16,” said Mustafa.

“We’ve seen so much here. From friends who come into the shop getting married to seeing someone pass away outside the shop after an accident.”

Although their usual array of items includes clothes, duvets, curtains and specialist garments, one of the strangest requests they have had was to clean an adult’s Roger Rabbit character costume.

“We couldn’t do all of it as the head of the mascot outfit wouldn’t fit in the machine,” said Mustafa.

“Someone brought in a bikini once, which was not something we usually see.”

But the time has come for a change, said Mustafa, who is going to study law full-time at the University of Law with dreams of becoming a solicitor. Meanwhile, his pension-age dad is taking to the road, solo backpacking around East Asia.

It is likely a barber shop will open in the premises, said Mustafa.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here, it’s been a great experience,” he added.

Oktay said: “It’s been my baby, I built it from the ground up when I bought it. We’ve made so many friends around here and seen children go on to have their own children. I want to thank my customers for all of their support.”

The shop’s final day of trading will be July 28.

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