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Andersonville Red Balloon Children’s Store Closing After 10 Years

RedBalloon1When you’ve made a career out of watching babies, toddlers and pre-teens outgrow their clothes on a regular basis, it shouldn’t be unusual for the store that stocked those very same clothes to finally outgrow its own footprint.

That’s what’s happened to the Red Balloon, a children’s clothing store located at 5407 N. Clark St. in Andersonville that will be closing effective June 7.

“I’m a resident of Andersonville, and I love Andersonville, and I support Andersonville in many ways, but this store is 800 square feet,” owner Jennifer Pope said on Monday. “As the customers age, the size of the clothing ages with them.”

Pope had been eating lunch with her son at what was then called Café Boost (it’s now Hamburger Mary’s) when she saw the landlord put a “For Rent” sign in the window of what would become the Andersonville location of Red Balloon, she said.

“It had been a wedding store, I think, and I ran over, and the landlady and her husband were really nice,” Pope said in between some other conversations taking place off the phone on Monday. That was about 10 years ago. Now, she’s moving what doesn’t sell in the next few days to the new Southport location at 3651 N. Southport Ave. A Warehouse Sale for children’s clothes by gender, size and price is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at the Andersonville store.

Pope has two other Red Balloon stores. But at 1,600 square feet, the Southport location is double the size of the Andersonville store. Her Bucktown location, 1940 N. Damen Ave., is 1,500 square feet. This means she’ll have even more room to watch her clientele grow right before her very eyes.

“Children’s things make people happy,” she added. “So generally, for the most part, we have happy customers. They enjoy looking at cute, happy, young things that remind them of their childhood.”

While some longtime customers have expressed sadness about the Andersonville Red Balloon closure, Pope said the Southport store isn’t that far. “And it’s so beautiful,” she said. “I hope that they will join us there at the new store.”



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