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Fort Worth Star Telegram May 30-June 4, 1995



Russian retailer resurfaces in Arlington


ARLINGTON - The Russians may have left the Hulen Mall, but they reappeared in South Arlington.

Russian Island closed its small Hulen Mall store in December, but the Arlington-based retail company recently opened up a discount warehouse at 2627 S. Cooper St., behind Ace Hardware. The store sells handmade Russian crafts, collectibles-including the country's famous eggs-and military clothing from the former Soviet army and navy.

"There's a lot of discounts," owner Mikhail Frumkin said of the new store, which opened May 18. "There's less expenses, less rent, less overhead."

The company also operates a small 300-square-foot store in the Galleria that Frumkin said is doing so well that he is negotiating to rent a 900-square-foot space. He's also considering opening a store in Dallas' Inwood-Lovers Lane area that could be a combination retail shop, museum and Latvian restaurant.

Frumkin said he closed the Hulen store, which had been open two years because it was barely breaking even.

"We weren't in a very good location," he said of the store, which was in the upper level of the Montgomery Ward wing.

But Frumkin, a former civil engineer who emigrated from the former Soviet Union in 1979, said local shoppers remain interested in Russian goods, enough to keep his business out of the red.

"We have a very wide range of people because we have things from $1 to $1,500," he said. "The older ladies like the collectible eggs, and the kids like the military wear."

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