The Hardwick revival: Inundated with new money, historic clothier is sizing up a new future

Rows of suit coats hang on racks at Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland, Tenn.
photo Sandra Woolsey sews at Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland, Tenn.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- A year ago, Hardwick Clothes was dying.

The 130-year-old maker of fine men's clothing declared bankruptcy, unable to pay its employee pension debt.

In the spring, the company's assets went to auction.

And then its ship came in.

Company at a glance

* Established: July 28, 1880 * Location: Cleveland, Tenn. * CEO and president: Bruce Bellusci * Owner: Allan Jones * Staff: 250 employees * Board of directors: Allan Jones (chairman), Thomas Hopper (vice chairman), Bruce Bellusci, John "Thunder" Thornton, Kenneth Hoffman, Lynn DeVault * Slogan: Sewn in the South

Allan Jones, the millionaire CEO of the Cleveland-based Check Into Cash, cut a check for $1.9