Buffalo in the ’90s: An era ending in Delaware Avenue shopping

By Steve Cichon

For generations, Buffalo’s best dressed women shopped on Delaware Avenue. That era was ending with the closing of Par Avion.

The last women’s shop in the area, Mabel Danahy, announced a move to Amherst in 1996. Pitt Petri was the last heritage retailer along Delaware Avenue when it closed in 2011:

April 21, 1994: Era fading on Delaware Avenue: Par Avion’s closing leaves just one women’s shop

“Alison F. Kimberly, owner and manager of Par Avion, which has operated at the corner of Delaware and Tupper since 1967, said she’ll close up shop at the end of May because “times have changed.”

“”Women are working during the day, not shopping,” Ms. Kimberly said.

“And when they do shop, their time is extremely limited, according to the veteran proprietor.

“They call up a catalog at 3 a.m. or they go to a mall where they can make one stop and save time,” she said. “The whole face of retailing has changed since we opened in the ’60s.””

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.