I've always had something of a like/hate relationship with the place, but I just learned (via my ever-savvy next-door neighbor David S.) that the Rugby store on the corner of East 12th & University Place (just across from what was the University Diner) is soon going to be kaput. That might explain why they've been having a lot of sales of late. Sure enough, I dropped in today and asked, and a smartly-dressed, barely-post-adolescent staffer confirmed it. Come February, Rugby -- not just this one store, but the entire brand -- will cease to exist.
Being that I think Ralph Lauren is an oily bag of pus, I initially didn't think much of Rugby, but after being gifted with an item or two from the joint, I gradually warmed to their wares (despite being initially informed that they pointedly catered to "a younger clientele" than myself). Sure, there's inarguably a withering degree of indefensible douchiness to the whole Rugby aesthetic (that sort of affected "Royal Tannenbaums" schtick that also afflicts the Tommy Hilfiger brand), but in measured quantities -- and paired with the right ensemble -- some of it works quite well, for whatever that's worth.
In any case, while they've only been there about seven years (occupying a historic corner address that formerly hosted an antique shop), they'll be gone in February.
Two questions begged: What will take its place? And what's happening to University Place?