Several area customers of Swan’s Dry Cleaning are upset with the small local business after operations seemingly vanished without notice.
“All I know is they’ve just left. We were a customer of Swan’s for a year. My wife Debra shops in Milledgeville a lot, and she went by there to pick up laundry and they were just gone. I had some shirts and my wife had some garments, and we just want our clothes back,” said James Belcher, a Wilkinson County resident. “I don’t know the details of what Debra saw, but regardless it was a real short notice. We live out of town, and if there was a timeframe that they let people know that they were going to be closing then we didn’t know about it.”
Milledgeville Mall Maintenance Technician Don Ellington said Swan’s officially closed its doors Feb. 28. Ellington is currently the local point of contact at the mall.
“They had a sign up for the month of February letting people know that they were moving, but I don’t know why they moved,” he said Tuesday. “The last I heard in mid-February was that they were going to relocate to the old Pickle Barrel building. If that’s the case, then it’s going to take them a while to get back up and running since that building burned down.”
According to Patti Rushin of the city finance department, the owners of Swan’s did not renew their occupation tax certificate, or business license, for 2013. In order to conduct business within the City of Milledgeville, renewals had to be paid by March 22.
Soon after the management company of the Milledgeville Mall — Hull Storey Gibson — announced the opening of Petsense between Swan’s and LongHorn Steakhouse in late August 2012, Swan's owners said they had no plans of relocating since the business’ lease was not up for renewal until August this year.
“We’ve been here for roughly 15 years. We will wait until February and then ask for another lease, but we’re not looking right now because we haven’t heard anything. If [Hull Storey Gibson] wants us to move, then we have to move, but we’re hoping to still stay here,” Yoo Min, son of the owner, said in August last year. “With the new restaurant here, people will come here and see us too, so new people might come. We’re just excited to be here and welcome new customers.”
Trey Owen of Protective Cleaners said Swan’s customers and local citizens have bombarded his business to speculate and seek information leading to their missing garments.
“I have had people come by here who had clothes there, but don’t seem to know where they are now. These people are upset because they want to get in touch with [Swan’s] to get their clothes back,” Owen said Tuesday. “I’ve never had communication with them before and certainly hadn’t since they closed. I wish we knew how to get in touch with them.”
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