Updated: Stadium Party Shoppe in west Ann Arbor makes a quiet exit
Ben Freed | AnnArbor.com
Newspapers and old beer promotion signs haphazardly cover the front window of the now-closed Stadium Party Shoppe on West Stadium Boulevard. The scraps hardly shield the completely empty interior from curious passers-by.
According to the Shoppe’s “About Us” section on their website, Johnny Georges came to Ann Arbor from Hamtramck with his brothers in the early 1990s. They first opened a store in the smaller space next-door, which is now Stadium Pharmacy.
The Georges moved to the larger space in 2001, and according to city records a company registered to the same family bought the property in 2002 for $400,000.
Xavier Tato, a pharmacist at Stadium Pharmacy, said he was surprised when the store closed about 10 days ago.
“We thought they were remodeling, and then they were just gone,” he said. “It’s sad for all of us because it was a major draw for the center, it brought a lot of foot-traffic to all of us.”
None of the other store owners in the West Stadium Shopping Center, which also includes a Little Caesars, Baskin Robbins, and Izzy's Hoagie Shop, seemed aware of why the store closed. Most said they knew the Georges, but none had spoken to them about the possibility of their store closing its doors.
“They had been here 22 years,” Tato said. “We’re just hopeful that something will be there again soon to help pick the business back up.”
Johnny's brother Gus Georges owns Huckleberry Party Store in Ypsilanti Township. Gus said he is in the process of buying the store from his brother and renovating before reopening as a new business. He said he does not yet have a time-table for when the store will open and is unsure what the new name will be.