Ross Cleaners: See Spot Run!

Shop Talk by Kitty Kaufman

Ross Cleaners is the champion of spotting. And as the brothers Levine are quick to point out, "Taking them out, not putting them in." Peter Levine and Carl Levine are owners of the Newbury Street shop along with Ross Cleaners on Harvard Street in Brookline.

Carl has a photographic memory, his brother says. He remembers your clothes and every run-in you've had with wine, grease, ink or worse. Their advice: whatever it is, don't treat it yourself. Rubbing, water, even club soda can permanently set a spot. "Don't mess with it," Peter says, "Get the garment to us right away."

These gurus of the clean and pressed count local celebs in their Rolodex but you don't have to be one to get the royal treatment. Though they close evenings at seven, if you give them a call you're going to be late, someone will hang around to hand over your freshly laundered duds.

Peter Levine says, "We see it all." I believe it. And when you think about it, just whose turn is it to do the laundry? If you're lucky enough to live in Back Bay, forget the weekly battle: they pick-up and deliver Mondays and Wednesdays. With their same day service, when you absolutely have to have it today, get your goods in by 9 am and they'll be cleaned and pressed by 5 pm. Whether you're a Pinks or Brooks Brothers fanatic, what's more annoying than getting your favorite puffy shirt back with a button gone? Ross replaces missing and cracked buttons.

On a street with chain shops it's a treat dealing with a family-owned business. Personal service, attention to detail and timeliness bring their customers back. Crease or no crease, starch or no starch, it's up to you. Well, most of the time anyway. If you want it dry cleaned and they think washing is better, they let you know. And if you bring them a really big problem, like paint, they ask for permission to get tough.
© January 8, 2003 for The City Shopper
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