Earnest Sewn is keeping close to home with the opening of its second retail location.

The premium denim label will open a 1,400-square-foot store in Manhattan's trendy Lower East Side next month. As with An Earnest Cut & Sew, the company's flagship in the city's Meatpacking District, which opened in 2005, the new unit will evoke the brand's American image.

The space has a heritage to match. Located on the corner of Orchard and Broome Streets, the space has served as the visitor center of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for the last 20 years. The building itself went up in 1901 and the store space operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition.

Scott Morrison, Earnest Sewn's president and designer, said a member of his staff who lived in the area happened to be walking by the building when he noticed a handwritten note in the window explaining the space was available for lease. However, Manhattan real estate is never an easy venture and it took several months for Earnest to nail down a 10-year lease on the space.

"We got down there and started peering through the windows and thought, wow, this is totally us," said Morrison.

He said his goal is to bring the history and vintage feeling of the space back to life in the store's design. The demolition process has helped steer his choices. For instance, after ripping up four-and-a-half inches of flooring, a hand-set tile floor dating to 1906 was discovered. Tearing down walls has exposed old bricks and beams, all features Morrison intends to keep.

"For us, being an American heritage brand, it's a neat set of circumstances to be able to work with," he said.

The store also will be home to something truly different to a denim store — its own flower shop. Floral designer Denise Porcaro will operate a Parisian-style flower boutique, complete with refrigeration units for storage, inside the store. Porcaro runs the Flower Girl company, doing arrangements for celebrities such as Drew Barrymore and Gretchen Mol, as well as for businesses such as the Maritime Hotel, BBar and Grill (formerly Bowery Bar) and the Stella McCartney store. It will be her first retail location.As with the brand's Meatpacking District store, Morrison is moving into an area that isn't known as a retail hot spot. He does believe the new store will serve a contingent of customers from the Lower East Side and Brooklyn who are reluctant to travel to the Meatpacking District store.

"My feeling is that the first two years it will have more of a marketing value for us," said Morrison.

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