After taking a quick look around, it's clear to most people that LaSalle The Image Makers fine men's clothing store in Scranton is not your average clothing store.
Depending on what corner of the business you're in you almost feel like you're in Scranton's version of the Smithsonian, with sports memorabilia like George Foreman's boxing gloves, or antiques like a classic Coke-a-Cola soda machine on display.
We have a lot of history in here. I'm not bragging, but there's a lot of different things in here, a lot of history, said Leo D'Angelo, who owns the store with his wife, Rita.
D'Angelo, who began his career as a clothing manufacturer, opened LaSalle almost 40 years ago after many of the factories in the area closed their doors.
A collector of antiques all his life, he decided to display some of his collection in the store, which has only gotten larger over the years thanks to the help of those in the area.
Somebody comes in and says, ‘I got this. You want it?' I say, ‘Yeah.' They say ‘I got this. You want to buy it?' I say, ‘Yeah.' That's how I collected all this stuff, said D'Angelo.
Sometimes I see something in the garbage and pick it out of the garbage.
Over the years, word of D'Angelo's display has spread around the area and beyond, and recently two of the country's most famous collectors got wind of it and decided to take a trip to Scranton to see what all the fuss was about.
In May of this year, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, the stars of the History Channel's television series American Pickers paid a visit to LaSalle to give the collection a look.
According to the History Channel's website, www.history.com/shows/american-pickers, American Pickers follows Wolfe and Fritz as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages, barns, and in this case a clothing store, meeting characters and hearing their stories.
D'Angelo and his son, Leo D'Angelo Jr., said prior to Wolfe and Fritz ever stepping foot in the store, the show sent a photographer to take pictures of the collection and then an appraiser to give it a once-over.
After the two visits, Wolfe and Fritz decided to take a look for themselves, and D'Angelo thinks they left feeling the trip was worth it.
I think they were impressed, said D'Angelo. They liked everything in here.
Filming the episode took around eight or nine hours, and D'Angelo said he enjoyed every minute he got to spend with the popular television personalities.
They were all great guys, D'Angelo said of Wolfe and Fritz.
They were the two nicest guys I met. They were cordial to the people outside, they signed autographs for them, they took pictures with them. They're real gentlemen as far as that goes.
In addition to his collection, the crew was impressed with the other thing LaSalle is known for.
I wound up selling the producers some clothing, laughed D'Angelo.
The visit will be featured in an episode of American Pickers that will air on Monday, Nov. 12, at 9 p.m. Other than the suits, D'Angelo said he couldn't say what, if anything, Wolfe and Fritz bought, but he did say that the two of them, like many others who have visited the store in the past, found out that not everything in the collection is for sale.
We never sell anything that people gave to us, said Leo Jr.
If I were to sell (an item that was donated) and the guy who gave that to me were to see that. Suppose you gave it to me, how would you like it if I sold it? said D'Angelo.
D'Angelo is in the process of planning a party for Nov. 12 in celebration of the episode, and he is encouraging everyone in the area to stop by the store and get an up-close look at the collection before, or after, the episode airs.
LaSalle The Image Makers fine men's clothing, located at 832 South Webster Ave., Scranton, will be featured in American Pickers Nov. 12 episode airing at 9 p.m. on the History Channel. Info: 344.0727