Biz Beat

Where’s the party? Not on McHenry Avenue, as store moves after 20 years

The party is moving off of McHenry Avenue.

After about 20 years in its spot on north McHenry Avenue, Grand Events is relocating to a new space across from the Vintage Faire Mall on Dale Road. The venerable party supply store, which first opened in McHenry Village in 1991, was forced to move after owner Ray Pogue said the lease ran out in the old location.

The new site is in the same complex as Trader Joe’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods, in the suite that formerly housed The Party Guys — another party supply store also owned by Pogue. Its closure two years ago left the space vacant and became a natural choice for Pogue to move Grand Events when he was forced out on McHenry Avenue.

“Moving is a huge deal for us. I didn’t expect to have to move,” Pogue said. “It’s tough, but I think it will be the best thing for us. I like the whole flavor of that complex with Trader Joe’s, Tuesday Morning, Lane Bryant, DXL and now Panera Bread going in across the street.”

Pogue said he plans to keep the same inventory and services at the new site, which is about 4,000 square feet smaller than his existing space. The move will begin Monday, March 19, and be completed no later than Friday, April 6. The store, including its popular balloon service, will remain open at the McHenry Avenue site during the move. All of the shop’s dozen or so employees will transfer to the new site.

Grand Events sells everything from plates, napkins and stemware to banners, confetti and party hats.

This is the third veteran retailer in as many weeks to announce its closure or move due to a lost lease. Late last month HomeTown Buffet on the corner of Prescott Road and Plaza Parkway closed after nearly 25 years in the same spot, and shortly after it was announce the Buy Rite Thrift Store across the street on Prescott Road was closing because its lease was not renewed after more than 20 years in business, including 12 years at that site.

Grand Events first opened in 1991 as part of an existing Caterworks store in McHenry Village by owner Ross Condit (not related to that other famous Condit from this area). It moved to the north McHenry Avenue spot, between Bangs and Kiernan avenues, around 1999. Condit sold the store to Los Angeles-based Classic Party Rental in 2003 and Modesto businessman Pogue bought it back from that company in 2010 after first serving as its general manager.

Pogue is no stranger to the party business. In 2005 he opened The Party Guys in Stockton, which is still open, and each October for the past five years has opened the seasonal The Halloween Guys in the old Ross store building on Dale Road.

Moving Grand Events puts the store just a pumpkin’s throw away from The Halloween Guys, something Pogue said he is looking forward to. The proximity means Grand Events will carry fewer Halloween items this year. But Pogue only somewhat jokingly promises to personally walk customers from one store to the other if necessary. So, you know, it’s something to take him up on for all those step counters out there.

The new Grand Events will be open at 3250 Dale Road, Suite I, by April 6. Its hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 209-569-0399.

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