Long before Diz’s arrived on the downtown scene with their crazy Theme Nights, McQuade’s Department Store enjoyed their themed window. This one, from the Manchester Historic Association collection, features a bathing suit mannequin in their famous window displays during a NH snow storm.
McQuade’s was founded by Elias McQuade in 1862 in Lowell, Mass. William McQuade, Elias’ son, joined the family apparel business upon his return from the war. Under Bill’s leadership, McQuade Inc. became a landmark destination for families and individuals shopping for that special outfit , whether it be a graduation suit, a bridal gown, a bargain in McQuade’s Basement or the perfect outfit to attend a gala event. The flagship store was opened at 844-860 Elm St. in Manchester, NH in 1939 and additional locations included Lawrence, Mass., Nashua, Merrimack, Concord, the Mall of New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine. Before its closure in 2002, McQuade’s was a downtown institution and an Elm Street favorite for the local community.
I remember shopping at McQuade’s for business suits while working at Amoskeag Bank in the 1980’s. McQuade’s offered something for everyone (even for someone like me just beginning my climb up the corporate ladder.) It is so exciting to open our new restaurant in a building with so much history and fond memories. You may hear us talk about how Diz’s is a wink to the past with a nod to the future. Although the building has undergone significant renovations, as well as redesigning for Diz’s open concept restaurant, you can still find still pieces of the original McQuade’s hiding here and there. Take a peek at our entry way at 860 Elm Street. You can still see the tiles that welcomed shoppers to McQuade’s. You’ll just have to lift up Diz’s mat to peek underneath.