The elegant evolution of Delaware Avenue shopping

By Steve Cichon

Thirty-five years ago this week, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

While much of Buffalo bought most of what they needed from the large department stores on Main Street — and then later their branch stores in shopping malls and plazas, and then, ultimately, at discount department stores — a certain segment of the city’s population shopped in elegance at the chic, more continental-feeling shops of Delaware Avenue.

Mabel Dahany, the Jenny Shop, Tegler’s and Pitt Petri offered a more sophisticated atmosphere to more sophisticated shoppers.

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.””