The Austin Chronicle

Beloved Costume Store Lucy in Disguise Closing

By Richard Whittaker, August 2, 2022, 7:00pm, All Over Creation

Get ready to say farewell to the Carmen Miranda zebra on South Congress. After 38 years of operations, costume store Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds will be closing at the end of the year.

Located at 1506 S. Congress, for almost four decades the store has been a go-to for partiers and theatrical costumers, with its assortment of masks, outfits, accessories, and costume jewelry, and its closure was immediately greeted with shock and disappointment by fans and customers. The announcement was made this afternoon on Facebook and Instagram:

After 38 years of business, Lucy in Disguise will close at the end of this year. Our owner, Jenna Radtke, opened the store in 1984 and since then, the store has survived a lot of changes and grown into an Austin institution. There are not a lot of year-round costume shops in the world and we're very grateful to our customers for their ongoing support. We've loved being a source of creativity and inspiration for your parties, plays, and productions. It has been a pleasure to fulfill your costuming dreams and fantasies. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

In preparation for our closing, we will be shifting to a "purchase only" model beginning on August 31. Rentals will cease after August 30. At the moment, we still have plenty of stock and are ready to have one last Halloween with all of you. As we will not be restocking, we recommend coming in early if you'd like to shop with us and we certainly hope you will!

There's no reason been given yet for why the 14-time Best of Austin-winning business (12 times in the Readers Poll, and a Critics Pick twice) is closing. However, South Congress has become a real estate hot spot, with many established and familiar, even iconic businesses closing, and locations often demolished. In the last decade, Austin originals such as Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, the Sfanthor wax museum, and most recently Tesoros Trading Co. have either closed or relocated to cheaper sites. Even if real estate costs are nothing to do with closure, it's not hard to imagine there will be a lot of interest in Lucy's location.

For the moment, Austinites will still have a chance to indulge their costume fantasies through to the end of the year.

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