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Retirement leads to the end of one dry cleaning franchise, and the start of another

After 70 years in the local dry-cleaning business, Brickle’s Cleaners & Laundry has closed its stores, paving the way for Lapels Cleaners, a national franchise, to take over one of its locations.

In April, business partners, Frank Booker and Christopher Westbrook opened a Lapels franchise at 4296 Washington Road between Taco Bell and Mattress Man in Evans, the former home of Brickle’s, whose owners retired earlier in the year. Brickle’s opened its original location on Walton Way in 1952.

The business name on the front of the building is currently being replaced.

Lapels Cleaners, which took over a dry-cleaning establishment on Walton Way in January, has now also replaced the former Brickle’s Cleaners on Washington Road. (Photo by Josh Heath)

Lapels also own another location at 3515 Walton Way Extension near the Wheeler Road intersection, which opened on Jan.3. Westbrook said they invested in these locations because they recognized the need for more dry-cleaning businesses.

“We saw many established dry cleaners retire,” he said. “The Augusta location used to be Top Cleaners, and they decided to retire as well.”

Booker said Lapels bills itself as “the future of dry cleaning” because, unlike some other cleaners, the company uses digital technology to clean clothes and track orders.

Besides dry cleaning, it also offers a variety of other services, including laundry, alterations, gown restoration, and shoe repair. He said they also offer pickup and delivery services.

“Soon we’ll have lockers for people who can’t make it to the store by the time we close,” Booker said.

According to the company website, the business uses a liquid silicone product that’s non-toxic and environmentally safe rather than petroleum-based products. The product was created by a company called GreenEarth Cleaning.

Founded in 2000, Lapels has more than 100 locations throughout the United States.

Lapels in Evans is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 706-869-9789.

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