ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — After more than 120 years, the doors at Carlisle’s Bridal of Pittsburgh will be closed for good in February.
“I’ve done this since I was 14. I’ve never done anything else,” said owner, Jan Winner.
Winner was trying to hold back tears after making the announcement Tuesday. Her store is billed as the oldest bridal shop in the United States, but between government regulations and COVID-19 safety concerns, Winner said she was forced to close. Her family opened the store in 1888.
“The bridal industry as a whole has been hurt very hard because most of the dresses come from China. So actually our problems started a year ago in January,” Winner said.
With a serious lack of income and uncertainty over how long the pandemic will last, she said there’s just too much risk for the shop to stay in business.
Tough times are nothing new for the store, though. During the Great Depression, Winner said her family was forced to take some extreme measures.
“My great-grandmother and my grandmother, they hawked all their jewelry, their china, everything, during the Depression. They lost their house they rented. They did everything to keep the store afloat,” Winner said.
“This is where I purchased my veil for my wedding 28 years ago on Ohio Street. I just remember it being the go-to place for wonderful service because a bridge wants to feel special,” Linda Weismann said.
Weismann was shopping with her niece who is planning a wedding for July.
“It’s a little sad to be here with the closing. However, on our side of it, it’s been a wonderful experience,” she said.
The store is located along McKnight Road in the North Hills.
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