Penner’s was established in 1916 by Morris Penner, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. Morris began the business as a second-hand clothing and shoe store. After 14 years, his sons Ben, Max, and Sam Penner joined him, and together they decided to establish a first-rate men’s clothing store.
Through the 1950’s, Penner’s gained notoriety for selling Stacy Adams tangerine shoes to capture the pachuco style popular on San Antonio’s West Side. It was the place to buy your tapita (hat), la lisa (shirt), tramados (pants), and calcos (shoes). In 1970, Penner’s grew to its third generation as Sam’s identical twin sons Mickey and Mark Penner decided to join the family business. After several years of valuable experience managing men’s department stores in Atlanta and San Francisco respectively, the twins brought new life into the store.
January 1978 changed everything. An electrical fire raced through the building, destroying everything in its path. Fortunately, Mr. Frost and the kind neighbors at Frost Bank offered space in their lobby for a temporary store location. A year later, the store reopened at its original location, 311 W. Commerce St.
1997 began a new generation at Penner’s. Sam’s grandson Matthew joined his father, uncle, and grandfather at the store, and they decided to sell their famous Authentic Guayaberas online. The goal was for Penner’s to become the largest supplier of Guayaberas so anyone anywhere could purchase these customized shirts made in Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Ten years later, Sam’s other grandson Mitchell Penner began the next chapter at the store. Mitchell’s brother Max soon followed.
Sam remained an integral part of the store until his death at the age of 92 in June 2002. His dream was for Penner’s to become the largest distributor of Guayaberas in the United States. The original vision of providing quality customer service has survived 98 years: Penner’s still provides free expert tailoring on anything purchased in the store.
Mark, Matt, Mitchell, and Max Penner are proud to keep the stores dream and vision alive. Now in its 100th year, Penner’s is honored to serve San Antonio and beyond and looks forward to providing the best in men’s clothing for another 100 years!