Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Queen of Hearts magic costume shop in downtown Plano to close December 31
Neighborhood's shifting from quaint gift shops to restaurant row.
PLANO Queen of Hearts, the magic and costume shop that's been in old downtown Plano since 1982, will close on December 31.
"We're just tired," said manager Jean Dunn, who has worked at the store for 25 years. "Business has been steady, but the owner's health has been bad. I've been running the store, but I'm ready to take a break. We just decided now is the time to do it. We'd rather go out on a high than a low."
There's also the shifting profile of old downtown Plano, which has morphed from a collection of quaint shops and tea rooms to a mini-restaurant row that started with the arrival of Fillmore Pub in 2007.
"Downtown Plano has changed," said Dunn. "Every time a retail shop closes, a restaurant opens. It's not the same as what it was. Restaurants take up a lot of parking, and our customers can't get to us. You've got to have parking available for people to get to you. Customers from the restaurants will come in, but they're just out strolling."
The only other businesses on the street that have been there as long as Queen of Hearts include Sutton Place, a furniture store next door. Not coincidentally, it's being remodeled to take up half of its space, with the other half being built to potentially house another restaurant.
Queen of Hearts is unique not just to downtown Plano but to Dallas-Fort Worth in that it has not only a complete collection of costumes for rent, but also a significant cache of magic paraphernalia.
The most popular costumes over the years have been Renaissance wear, gangster outfits, and superheroes such as Batman. The hottest Halloween costume this year was Alice in Wonderland -- "not the old one, the new one from the Johnny Depp movie," Dunn said.
Dunn's not the only long-timer; of the four employees total, the staffer with the shortest duration has been there eight years.
They've marked merchandise down to 50% off and they'll keep it that way until closing day.
"We've been tossing it around, and I was OK with it until we put the 'closing' sign up," said Dunn. "The day we put the sign up, I cried and cried. My friend said, 'You should stay away the last day.' But I've been opening and closing this door for 25 years -- I wouldn't miss that."
Shannon Sutlief contributed to this story.
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