Born in Zurich in 1853, Charles Ruegger immigrated to the United States in 1874, according to www.14to42.net. In 1877 he opened a hardware and houseware business near Houston St.; a half-century later he moved the business, by then called Bazar Francais, to this pre-Civil War building on Sixth Ave. (The shallow cornice, dated 1929, was personalized after Ruegger bought the building; the white lettering was painted, at some point, on the building next door.)
In 1984, when Irene Sax wrote Cook's Marketplace: New York, the shop was still buying, repairing, and selling cookware, but no longer under Ruegger family ownership, and by appointment only. Bazar Francais seems to have shuttered entirely by the end of the 1980s.
Surviving signage at 666-8 Sixth Ave. (20th-21st Sts.)