Gabriel Brothers: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio

Your typical tourist delights him or herself in strip malls. This person loves kitschy figurines, Hawaiian prints, bad perfume, Celine Dion, and thinks they’re slumming it when they shop at T.J. Maxx or Marshall’s. That was probably the rudest, likely inaccurate, assessment I could conjure up after only three cups of coffee, but one hidden point rings true: your typical tourist doesn’t know about Gabriel Brothers–a deal-grabbing store that puts T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s to shame.

Growing up in Marietta, Ohio, an arm’s length from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Gabriel Brothers was a super secret lifesaver for me and my siblings. Having a mother who clips coupons for already on-sale store-brand cereal, there wasn’t any shot in Hell that my sister and I would ever be allowed to order clothes from catalogs like Delia’s. Which was oh-so-cool back then. We’d drive the 30 minutes to Parkersburg, West Virginia and sneak into this giant store, cramming our carts with Delia’s shirts marked $1.00 a piece and our mouths with cherry ICEES and soft pretzels simultaneously. Mom always gave us a limit and we always knew we could go at least $20 over that limit. “Girls, I’m serious, you get $25 each” meant “Go ahead and pack your cart with $45 worth of shit each because for every dollar I spend, I’m saving ten.”

The trick to Gabe’s is this: you have to carefully look at your clothes. All clothes are rejects from a store/warehouse/factory, but not all rejects are bad. Sure, some will have gaping holes exposing your arm pits to all of your office, but more often than not, the size is simply marked incorrectly. Or a tag is missing. Etc. And they don’t just sell clothes. Home furnishings, shoes, toys, and snacks I’d be skeptical of also make the cut.

To this day, Gabe’s is a stop-point each and every time I find myself back in the homeland. Without Gabe’s, I’d be that creeper walking around the slick streets of Manhattan in men’s sweatpants and a Michigan hoodie. Which is exactly what I’m wearing right now…

By: Elizabeth Seward

Photos by: http://www.glazer.net, http://www.flickr.com (gwdexter)

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4 thoughts on “Gabriel Brothers: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio

  1. My wife and I love Gabe’s as well. We did some serious Christmas shopping (09)for our family, at the St. Clairesville, OH Gabe’s, back in South Jersey sans the typical damage to the wallet had we opted to buy the presents elsewhere. We have been to two other Gabe’s locations in PA and WV. Gabe’s is certainly not a store for the average shopper. But it suits our needs to a tee.

    Thank You for the Blog Elizabeth!

  2. OMG! I am so glad I found your blog! The nearest Gabe’s to me is in Winchester, VA. I travel quite often for my job and one week I landed in Winchester and my coworker introduced me to Gabe’s and I have been hooked ever since. I went their for probably the fourth or fifth time last night. Anytime I am near I must go! I found your blog by searching “gabriel brothers marietta oh” and I believe your blog was the first or second link in my search. I searched this because my travels for work will land me in Marietta, OH in a couple weeks and I thought I would do a search to see if there would be a Gabe’s nearby since they are popular in OH and WV. I am so delighted to know there will be a Gabe’s 30 minutes away in Parkersburg, WV! I will do some damage 🙂 By the way, I absolutely agree that Gabe’s puts TJ Maxx and Marshalls to shame. I love both stores and I did some some damage to my bank account in both stores last weekend. Bargain shopping is my favorite pastime.

    Loooooove your blog about Gabe’s!

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