For decades, customers looking for “the world’s largest discotheque” or the most terrible Halloween Costumes Outlet have flocked to Betsy Ross Costumes in Clarence.
Now, the party is over – at least for that main street store.
Betsy Ross Halloween Costumes Outlet has closed its physical store and only sells and rents online.
The company’s co-founder this week sold the building to Swiak Studios, an architectural restoration company that plans to move there from South Buffalo.
“The time is right now,” said co-founder Judith. He has been helping her daughter Betsy in recent years.
This store was family business from the beginning.
Judy Ross co-founded the company in 1976 with Betsy and her son William with the help of her husband Charles.
The business began to rent equipment for construction projects, lawn work and other uses.
“Your name, we have it,” Judith said.
She said that Rosses started renting items for the party and later added clothing.
By 1999, they formally divided the business into two parts. William was running the Grand Rental Station and Betsy operating Betsy Ross Costumes.
Both companies operate at 9670 Main St., opposite Clarence High School.
Betsy Ross clothing is known for its extensive rental options, ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Marie Antoinette, from Bill Clinton masks to disco leisure suits.
Judith said she had withdrawn from day-to-day management about 10 years ago, but she continued to do her daughter’s bookkeeping. She said that her daughter, now Betsy Visciano, started thinking about turning to online operations about a year ago.
Judith said that she decided to sell the building last spring after her husband had a health problem.
“This is too much,” Judith said, noticing the two apartments in the building.
Bill Ross closed the Grand Rental Station last November. Betsy Visciano closed its main street store in December and began renting space at Lockpot’s warehouse.
According to a document submitted by the County Commissioner’s Office, items sold to Swiak Holdings LLC closed at 31,500 U.S. dollars on Wednesday.
Clarenceton Ertel is a real estate agent and vice chairman of the Clarence Industrial Development Agency.
“We are very happy because I think this gentleman will refurbish the building to make it more attractive and make it meet today’s standards,” said Ertel, who has known Rosses for many years and went to high school with Charles.
Brett Swiatek, the co-owner of Swiatek Studios, and his sister Stacey confirmed that he had purchased the property in order to relocate his company to 9670 Main Main. The current location is 1728 Seneca St.
Swiateks grandfather Henry Swiatek Sr. founded H. Swiatek & Son in 1967. The studio provides restoration of original architectural features to churches, commercial properties and residential clients, specializing in stained glass, statues and decorative paintings. Clients include St. Mark’s Church next to Buffalo Park and Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
Brett Swiatek said that the company has 10 to 20 employees at any time, depending on the workload.
He said that they plan to carry out large-scale renovation of the building before moving there in the next few months. Sweett said they will keep the apartment and his wife Nicole likely to move her physiotherapy office into the building.
Brett Swiatek said that the future risks of the Autonomous Street area and the ability to more easily serve Rochester’s customers make the property attractive.
“We live in Clarence. Obviously, being close to home is a benefit,” he said.