NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After 75 years in Nashville, Friedman’s Surplus & Outdoors, a family-owned business, is closing its doors.

Friedman’s sells military surplus, camping and outdoor equipment, fishing tackle, ammunition, clothing and work wear.

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They’ve had several locations in Music City since 1949 and have been in Hillsboro Village on 21st Avenue South since 1972. It’s the final Friedman’s location.

(Photo: WKRN)

(Photo: WKRN)

Many have become familiar with Friedman’s neon sign and marquee outside the Hillsboro Village storefront.

For 12 years, Friedman’s employee Nestor Ilagan was the mind behind the marquee’s clever catchphrases.

“The family trusted me, the management trusted me, and they gave me a little bit of autonomy,” said Ilagan. “It evolved from being a marketing piece to something little bit more engaging, something where people could drive by and they would constantly look up. It would make them laugh or think.”

Ilagan said the store’s customer service made it a place for all generations to enjoy.

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“Friedman’s here in Nashville was not just a retail store, it was an experience and I think that’s why Nashville is going to miss it,” said Ilagan.

While the Friedman’s have passed, Ilagan said the store’s current owner is retiring and closing out the 75-year run.

The neon sign, crafted carefully with porcelain, will live on beyond the store’s closure.

(Photo: WKRN)

(Photo: WKRN)

Liquid Fire Vintage Neon is removing the sign Monday afternoon, restoring it, and working to find it a permanent home.

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Klint Griffin, owner of the company, said they have passion for roadside Americana and bringing life back to vintage neon’s. Friedman’s sign holds a special place in his heart.

“I remember seeing this sign as a kid, my family is from this part of the state for 200 years,” said Griffin. “I just didn’t want it to be destroyed or leave the city or leave the state.”

You can follow the signs journey on Liquid Fire Vintage Neon’s social media pages.

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Friedman’s is open Tuesday, June 11, through Saturday, June 15.

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