King's Son - 309 Central Avenue, Jersey CityJanuary 2010
If you grew up in Jersey City during the 20th century, then Mussie Ull may be a familiar name. If the Ull name does ring a bell, chances are you have shopped at one of their five family owned neighborhood stores including King’s Son on Central Avenue.
From Downtown to Greenville to Five Corners and then the Heights, Mussie had family ties to businesses spread throughout the City (Fink’s Department Store, Sol’s Pants, and Will-Rays) making the Ull family a significant piece of Jersey City’s business community for the better part of the 1900s.
Mussie started in retail working alongside
his father, Izzy, at “Kings” which was then
a haberdashery on Central. Upon returning from military service at the age of nineteen,
Mussie went into business for himself and opened “Mussie’s Pants Shop” at 217 Jackson Avenue (now MKL Blvd) in 1946.
He spent twenty six years on Jackson
Avenue before deciding
to move his business
to the Heights
and take over the
location (309 Central
Avenue) “Kings” left
behind after it closed
two years earlier. In 1972, Mussie opened what is known today as “King’s Son” in tribute to his father. King’s Son began as an army/ navy store but evolved over the years. “As our customers changed so did our merchandise,” says Mussie’s son Scott. “The men’s wear store grew to include jeans, postal uniforms, tuxedos and even work apparel. The whole family was involved in men’s clothing.
That is what we knew.”
Anyone who knew Mussie knew him as a
hard worker with solid business principles.
He was part of a generation that
understood how to make a neighbored
business succeed based on customer relationships and service. As customer demands
changed so did the business.
Central Avenue has seen many businesses come and go in the 20th century but only a small hand full remain. Merchants like Mussie made shopping on Central Ave memorable to those who grew up in the neighborhood and now consider it a landmark.
Mussie had a strong devotion to his family (wife Sylvia, sons Mark, Scott, and Howard), his Jersey City community, and had a zeal for life. He retired to Sunrise, Florida in 1992 and passed away at the age of 82 in August of 2008.
King’s Son is operated today by his boys, Mark and Scott, beside longtime store manager Ed Burns who recently celebrated his 50th anniversary working alongside the Ull family. It is currently the only Central Avenue business owned and operated by a third generation business owner. “We are dedicated Jersey guys,” said Mark. “We are continuing on to make a living.”
“Mussie Ull was a Central Avenue, if not, Jersey City legend,” says Gary Solomon CASID secretary and neighbor to King’s Son. “His work ethic and dedication to a neighborhood business was inspirational.”
King’s Sons runs today on the same business principles Mussie practiced which emphasizes the importance of customer service. King’s Son is the last remaining business in Jersey City owned and operated by the Ull family.