For 63 years Union War Surplus provided a place where time (and fashion) stood still. As San Pedro searched for a new identity after its fishing and cannery industries collapsed, the big store on Sixth Street offered something solid, traditional and reassuring: guns, mess kits and thermal underwear. Union War currently sits inside an old Woolworth's store yet feels dark, claustrophobic and mysterious at the same time. The musty smell of treated canvas, WWII wool and old field jackets hangs heavy in the air, and the place is where everyone has come to buy plaid hunting caps (with ear flaps), sweatshirts, knives and baseball caps bearing the names of seemingly every aircraft carrier.
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It's all going to go, according to the Daily Breeze, which reports that owner Al Kaye is going to retire at the age of 84. Although no firm closing date has been fixed, there'll be a 40 percent-off liquidation sale May 1, with current inventory already moving at 20 percent discounts.