Why Customers Keep Coming Back to Nuri’s Custom Tailor and Cleaners, Even When It’s Not Halloween

By Patrick Butler

It’s the little niceties that keep customers coming back to Nuri’s Cleaners even after nearly 50 years, says owner Sengel Senger, noting her shop has even made Halloween costumes on occasion.

Sengul Senger doesn’t advertise her tailor shop at 4155 N. Lincoln.

The loyalty of her clientele will tell you why she doesn’t have to.  Something about little things like fixing customers’ buttonholes and hems without even being asked – or charged.

“I don’t think many other cleaners do that,” she said.

“And we do it as fast as we can.  And we always stay open until the expected closing time.  That’s how we stay in business,” said the Turkish immigrant who came to Chicago in 1972 when she was 18 and her late husband, Nuri, was 28.

“We came to Chicago from Istanbul because my husband had friends.  Thought we’d make some money here, then go back home. But my husband loved Chicago. He said it’s his city, his country, and he was staying.

“And by then, we couldn’t do it.  By then we had two kids, Tim and Al,” both of whom are now helping their mother run the business after their father died about four years ago. Nuri’s is named after him,” Senger continued.

Since the loss of their father, the two sons have been especially helpful around the shop, said Senger, noting how the boys “know everything about the business.  Tim knows how to sew, how to measure the customers. 

“He’s even made Halloween outfits,” she said.

“And not too many cleaners do that,” the proud mother pointed out.

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