The party has ended for one Sunset Park store.
On Tuesday, June 30, neighborhood favorite Party Fair closed after three decades.
“This is heartbreaking,” said Trish, the manager. “I’ve been there with them when it was Alan’s before Party Fair bought it. I’ve been with them the whole 30 years. One customer came in with her grandchildren and she was crying. She said she used to come with her daughter when she was little. We saw so many different generations come in and out.”
The store, at 5003 Fifth Ave., offered plenty of party supplies, from balloons for different celebrations to costumes for Halloween.
Trish said the customers and atmosphere made the store different from others in the borough.
“We had great customers and a regular group of people that may have come in to grab something,” she said. “A lot of elderly people would stop in every morning. There’s this one customer Mary who would come in all the time and we’d chit chat for a good few minutes. We had quite a few people like that.”
Trish also compared Party Fair to popular chains.
“We weren’t anything like them,” she said. “The atmosphere was so easygoing. We’d have customers come up to the register that we’ve never seen in our lives, and before they left they were telling us their life stories.”
Locals took to social media to express their sadness.
“You will be missed,” said Frank Krauzer. “I remember getting my Halloween costumes there and taking my kids to get them there too. It’s so sad to hear you’re closing. Thanks for all the memories.”
“So sad to hear this news,” said Noemi Quinones. “My son and I took my grandson there for his Halloween costumes. Party Fair was the best.”
“So sad to think 5th Avenue will be missing such a wonderful group of employees,” said Victoria Cosenza.
David Estrada, executive director of the Sunset Park BID, talked about what the closing means to the area.
“Party Fair’s closing is a very sad moment for Sunset Park,” he said. “They were part of our neighborhood’s holidays and family celebrations for decades. Trish and the crew there struggled to reopen after a devastating roof leak last winter. They really were trying. But the COVID-19 closure and difficulty accessing financial relief were just too much to endure.
“This loss proves how important it is for Sunset Parkers to shop at local mom-and-pop stores. It’s hard enough for small businesses facing excessive fines, and competition from online retailers. If we want our neighborhood to feel like home, we have to spend our dollars at the shops we love.”
Party Fair joins a number of other Fifth Avenue business that have recently closed, including Frank’s Barber Shop, Baby Blue Clothes, Happy Days, Petland, Payless Shoes, Foot Locker and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Some of the closures took place before the pandemic. Amalgamated Bank has also announced it will close its Sunset Park branch.