Party Over: 'Party Ants' Closing After 18 Years
The cheery Broad Street stop is selling off its inventory for a future closing.
A customer walks in off of Broad Street to embrace Ding Hays—hugging the longtime business owner in the Party Ants toy aisle.
"You're leaving us," the customer said, sniffing back tears.
"Leaving the store," Hays said. "Not leaving Sewickley."
After 18 years in business, Party Ants, the toy and party supply store at 424 Broad Street, will soon close its doors. Owners Ding and Robin Hays announced the closure on March 19.
Ding Hays said there is no final day for Party Ants just yet. The shop will try to sell off its full inventory before shuttering for good.
"We're selling the light fixtures," Ding Hays said. "We're trying to sell everything."
Hays said after months of thinking it over, the pair have decided to retire. She said they are interested in selling off the party shop to a prospective buyer.
"It's hard to leave because of the people," she said, as customers perused the shop's aisles. "That's what we're going to miss."
Nearly two decades ago, the sisters decided to purchase the former Festive Occasions party shop, adding more toys and children's items to its inventory.
Years ago, the sisters' nephew sketched a drawing of the word "party" with two ants to it's side.
"And it was party aunts," Hays said. "We loved it. We took that and said that's the perfect idea."
Two employees work for the store—the same two hired when Party Ants first opened, Hays said.
Hays said the shop's loyal customers will make going out of business especially difficult. The store is stocked with hula hoops, Pittsburgh sports gear and essentials for party occasions.
"We're really going to miss it," Hays said. "It'll be hard to go"