Oscar Party Dresses Going for a Song at Bucktown Boutique's Closing Sale

By Alisa Hauser on February 15, 2013 8:00am 

BUCKTOWN — When a television news show features a peach lace dress during a "What to Wear to an Oscars Viewing Party" next week, it'll be one of the last times to find the trendy item, at least at one Bucktown boutique that's closing by the end of the month.

Just shy of their shop's third anniversary, the co-owners of Dress Up Boutique at 1937 N. Damen Ave. are calling it quits, citing low foot traffic.

Rattling off a list of a half-dozen independently-owned shops in the 1800 to 2000 blocks of North Damen Avenue that have shuttered in the past few years, boutique owner Justina Saltanaviciute, 28, said, "The street is really empty in this part of Bucktown. The first two years went well but this third year has been tough."

Initially an online-only venture, Saltanaviciute, along with her sister, Indre Saltanaviciute, decided to open a brick-and-mortar store in May 2010.

"Eventually, we hope to do something like this again. For now, though, it's just too tough," Justina Saltanaviciute said.

Dress Up features jeans, coats, accessories and an eclectic selection of colorful party dresses by local label Cotton Candy Couture as well as Ezra, designer of the peach lace dress, which Saltanaviciute said is expected to appear on WGN-TV during an 11:30 a.m. segment Wednesday.

Items are marked down to a little as $5 for earrings or $10 for beaded bracelets by Busy Wrist and up to 70 percent off on jeans, tops and dresses.  In addition to sales racks of merchandise, tables and some fixtures such as custom hanging lamps are for sale, too.

Ann Keefner, owner of 6-Degrees Bar at 1935 N. Damen Ave., expressed sadness Wednesday over her immediate neighbor's imminent closure.

"In three years, I feel like I've seen so many changes on this street, shops coming and going. It's a hard time for retailers. I hope people go out and shop at the sale. My friend just bought a really cute coat for $35 that was originally $125," Keefner said.

 Dress Up Boutique at 1937 N. Damen Ave. is closing by the end of February after a near three-year run in Bucktown. Items are marked to a little as $5 for jewelry and up to 70 percent off on jeans and tops.
Dress Up Boutique at 1937 N. Damen Ave. is closing by the end of February after a near three-year run in Bucktown. Items are marked to a little as $5 for jewelry and up to 70 percent off on jeans and tops.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

Dress Up Boutique's hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The retail space is renting for $27 per square foot, according to a recently updated listing.

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