The word was out last October: Lord & Taylor was coming to Mizner Park. We heard the rumors, and then the South Florida Business Journal reported, “a company spokeswoman confirmed that the New York-based retail chain is taking 80,000 square feet. She said it will offer a full line of apparel and accessories. She declined to say when it might open.” Even the New York Post reported that “Lord & Taylor is gearing up for a fresh growth spurt…In fall 2012, Lord & Taylor will open an 80,000-square-foot store in Boca Raton, Fla., at Mizner Park, bringing the total number of full-priced Lord & Taylor stores to 50.”

Fall 2012 came and went and we were still wondering: Would they really come? Would everyone’s favorite department store for dresses actually make a comeback from the old Town Center days?

Well, we are happy to report that L&T has signed on the dotted line with a store opening in the old Robb & Stucky store slated for 2013.

I could not be happier. Lord & Taylor has been my go-to place forever for formals, work clothes or party clothes—and always, the perfect little black dress. As much I love many other stores here, I have had a soft spot for L&T from the days I had so many business trips to New York. I remember how the store opened every day at 10 a.m. with a coffee cart (tea and coffees were gratis) folding chairs for guests and “The Star-Spangled Banner” blasting over the loudspeaker system, described by a New York Times article as sounding like “the Philadelphia orchestra from the 1950s.” 

It’s a ritual that began with the 444-day Iran hostage crisis that began in 1979. Then Lord & Taylor Chairman Joseph E. Brooks, “ordered ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ played every morning ‘because,’ he said at the time, ‘with all its problems, this is still the greatest country in the world.’”

To this day, L&T still starts each day this way (although the coffee service is being retooled), and it’s something I have never forgotten.

I’m not sure the Mizner Park store will play our national anthem every day when it opens, but I am thrilled it is coming nonetheless. 

And I am counting on it for that next little black dress.