Hamden’s Lucky Ewe is closing up shop

By Shayla Colon

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As of March 17, 2019, the Lucky Ewe Irish Goods shop on Whitney Avenue will be closed. The store is in the process of selling any merchandise left in a closing sale and shutting down operations.

But the Lucky Ewe Irish Shop is going out with a grand celebration. On St. Patrick’s Day, the shop owner will be hosting its annual party. There will be Irish music, step dancers and a bagpiper to celebrate the holiday and the store’s closing.

Kathleen O’Neill, 56, opened the shop three and a half years ago and is parting with the store on good terms. According to O’Neill, the shop is not closing because it was not doing well- it was actually growing, but O’Neill has come to a crossroads and decided it was time for her to make a transition in her life.

“I’m planning on spending more quality family time. My family has grown, I have three grandchildren and also my kids have moved away.  I just want to have more availability,” said O’Neill.

Although O’Neill is closing the location on Whitney Avenue, that leaves the possibility of pop-up stores for her to dabble in. She hopes to have some pop-up locations across Hamden at the Playwright Irish Pub Restaurant and Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum. She plans to donate the store’s heraldic pins to the museum.

“We would like to do whatever we can to support the Hunger Museum. I think it would be a great fit if they [Ireland Great Hunger Museum] do a little gift shop. I’ve been planting those seeds and watering them, so we’ll see what happens with that one,” said O’Neill.

In her time running the shop, O’Neill finds the best part to have been the people she met as a result.

“It’s been amazing that people have come in and shared their stories. It’s been wonderful just getting to know people and when people come into an Irish store they tend to talk, so they’ve been sharing their stories, sharing their families. On a personal level, it has been wonderful because it has helped me to reconnect with my Irish heritage. As much as you think a store is about selling goods, no. It’s been more about the relationship with people that has been the best blessing of all,” said O’Neill.