Tallahassee Gun & Pawn is closing after 40 years in business, completed by

After four decades in business, the owner of a Tallahassee pawn shop has made the decision to close permanently after last month’s tornadoes left his business with a detached roof and damage much beyond immediate repair.

Owner Bobby Carrouth planned to open Tallahassee Gun & Pawn as usual on May 10, after three tornadoes struck the capital, causing costly devastation for local business owners.

When Carrouth was first alerted at 7 a.m. that the South Monroe Street store’s security alarm had gone off, he assumed it had been triggered by the storm and told authorities not to assess the property .

Bobby Carrouth, owner of Tallahassee Gun & PawnBobby Carrouth, owner of Tallahassee Gun & Pawn

Bobby Carrouth, owner of Tallahassee Gun & Pawn

After the second warning, Carrouth went to the store to see for himself the damage he had initially underestimated, including irreparable goods.

“I’ve lived here in Tallahassee all my life,” Carrouth said Thursday as he surveyed his destroyed storefront through the Dog et Al restaurant window across the street. “I’m 70 years old now, so I’m retiring after the store’s destruction.”

The pawnshop industry has been around for thousands of years and can be traced back to ancient China, where it was the oldest financial institution in the world, according to the National Pawnbroker Association. This Tallahassee-based shop was no exception to the need for a practice that has been helping local residents with short-term loan agreements for at least four decades.

It’s hard not to notice the brightly colored yellow building that housed Carrouth’s pawn shop for many years. He says the business hasn’t missed a beat since it opened so long ago, and closure hadn’t been on his mind.

But it soon became a harsh reality.

On Tuesday, May 28, Carrouth made it official with a post on Tallahassee Gun & Pawn’s Facebook page announcing the closure:

“After 40 years, Tallahassee Gun & Pawn has closed its doors due to the destruction from recent tornadoes. I appreciate your business and the friendships I have built over the years. Please share this message so it reaches the community.”

By Thursday afternoon, he had received more than 100 responses.

‘Sad to hear that you suffered damage from the storm. But I’m glad to hear you’re moving on to the next chapter!” wrote one person.

“Special place with lots of memories… but I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you next! Sending love,” wrote another.

“Thank you for 40 years of service to our community,” read another.

Internal damage to Tallahassee Gun & Pawn, observed through the window from outside the building.Internal damage to Tallahassee Gun & Pawn, observed through the window from outside the building.

Internal damage to Tallahassee Gun & Pawn, observed through the window from outside the building.

Now the legacy of forty years comes to an end

The Tallahassee native lived in the capital for thirty years before deciding it was time to open his own pawn shop, following in the footsteps of a few of his high school friends who had taken the same path.

Carrouth and his father, Jack Carrouth, drove together to the property at 1435 S. South Monroe St. to purchase the vacant building from his uncle, Jep Dove.

Carrouth believes his business has continued to thrive because of the positive interactions he has had with customers: “That’s one thing I’ve always told people, my employees and everyone, if you’re nice to people, they’ll come back.”

“Oh, we go there all the time,” says Alain Rodgers, owner of neighboring Euphoria Tattoos. “It’s a typical pawn shop full of things that people are trying to get rid of or have to make hasty choices to pawn their stuff to pay the bills. But it was a nice pawn shop.”

During Carrouth’s time as a pawnbroker, he has seen quite a few interesting items enter and leave the store. He remembers a man who came in every now and then and pawned his prosthetic foot.

Each time the man came back to buy the foot back, until one day he bought a new one and never came back. For the past 25 years, the size 11 right foot prosthesis has sat on the shelves, waiting for its next owner.

More: ‘WAR ZONE’: Tallahassee battered by possible tornado; one death amid widespread damage

Also: The West Tennessee St. company is preparing its final farewell after 48 years in business

Overwhelmed with bittersweet feelings, Carrouth said he’s helping his employees secure other jobs, but he’s looking forward to more time for golf and fishing and continuing to work in the prison system through his church, St. Peters Anglican Cathedral .

“I’m ready to let it go and move on,” Carrouth said.

Contact Carrouth at 850-508-7296 if you would like to pay off loans, pay off on property or inquire about purchasing the property. Democrat writer Mycah Brown can be reached at [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tornado damage spurs Tallahassee Gun & Pawn to close after 40 years

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