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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Cuckoo's Nest in Pittsburgh closing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

FuzzyBoots
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As per the title, the Cuckoo's Nest (website) in Pittsburgh, PA is closing. They've been a Pittsburgh staple for years and, from my understanding, were both one of the only places to get magic tricks without having to do mail order and also were a major source for juggling supplies, twisting balloons, and stage makeup. I knew from the website that they were only open Wednesdays and Saturdays, but only learned today why. The owner, Tom, died last year, and his widow has neither the time nor ability to manage a magic shop (one of their signatures was that they always had a magician in the shop to demonstrate tricks, and without Tom to cover, they're short most days). From my walking around, they still have a large amount of inventory available, from commercial tricks to what look to be handmade ones, as well as a veritable library of books in the back that you can only access if you show your bona fides. The current schedule is Wednesday and Saturday, 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM, but the proprietress said that she's been meeting with people outside of those hours if they're particularly interested in buying some of the inventory.

The timing on the closing is currently undefined. She said she wanted to do it "before it gets cold", but this being Pittsburgh, that could be anywhere from a week to half a year.
Wizard of Oz
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This one hits me hard. I knew about Tom passing away, (the last time I was in the store it was just me, Linda, and Tom...only a little while before he died), but I had hoped that Linda would keep the store going. I would only visit the shop once or twice a year as I had regular business dealings in Pittsburgh. But this has been over the course of 22 years...so for me, visiting the Nest was like an annual holiday. The store was a true magic shop...old, cluttered, packed to the gills with props. But there were always "workers" there who were friendly, helpful, and once they knew you were "family," more than willing to let you look deeper into their well-stocked inventory.

Tom and Linda catered not only to those who wanted the newest and most popular effects and DVDs, but they also kept a very well-stocked book selection for those of us who wanted to know more than just what was the latest and greatest.

Knowing that this shop is disappearing is like losing an old friend. All the best Linda. Thank you for the memories and realize you and Tom put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
o2b2b2
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I didn't get there often, but always found it a fun place with a good inventory of props and books. They were a great asset to the magic community.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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I had been there once while attending a convention in Pittsburgh. Great place, very sad to see another brick and mortar shop close.

Is there any interested local magicians looking to buy out the shop and keep it running, at least part-time? Is that possible?

Mark
Poof-Daddy
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They do have a great location. Staff is very knowledgeable and there has been a standing "rule" that they don't sell you something you can't do. A very honest trait. I am surprised someone has not bought it up. (There may have been offers but now they are closing for sure?). I only met Tom a few times. I have met several demonstrators through 20+ years of being a semi regular customer, although I almost always dealt personally with Linda. I really liked having somewhere less than an hour away to pick up a last minute thing I needed for a gig. Especially nice for buying items that you really want to see and feel before you buy like close up pads, TT's silks...
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Wizard of Oz
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They had a great inventory of collectible card decks, which was/is unusual for the remaining Brick and Mortar shops who don't want to risk stocking those items. And like Poof-Daddy said, they stocked all of the basics any magician needed for a gig...so although I wasn't a local, I remember being in the shop numerous times when regulars would come in to pick up accessories. Their voices echoed off the high-ceilinged walls..."Hey Linda, I need a blank deck of red Bikes." And Linda would scurry over to the appropriate counter and pull out the deck.
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Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Sep 24, 2016, Wizard of Oz wrote:
They had a great inventory of collectible card decks, which was/is unusual for the remaining Brick and Mortar shops who don't want to risk stocking those items.


If you press it I think you will find those decks were fronted by the distributor.
Wizard of Oz
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Interesting. Still, a better inventory than most.
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trickyat86
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This really hits me hard. I took magic classes there as a teen, and had a really good customer relationship with a few of the demonstrators back then.
FuzzyBoots
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For what it's worth, according to their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/The-Cuckoos-Nest-Magic-Shop-184478418254548/), they're still continuing on with the two day a week schedule, although it's interspersed with messages about countertops and bookcases being sold.
Poof-Daddy
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They have been down to some slim pickins for a while. Linda told me a while back, she wanted to close up before it got cold. That did't happen but the hours are scarce. Always call first before making a trip in or making an online order to see if it is even in stock. The website is NOT up to date and I am pretty sure it states that. Facebook is certainly the best way to keep up with their hours as they will post even if they are just going in for a few hours on a certain day. The e-mail list is still hit and miss so I would refer to Facebook. At this point the "regular hours" are only on Saturday and Wednesday but I would still call before making the trip.

As a side note, the last two times I went, I couldn't take the west end circle and down to east carson (I live in ohio and take 22 to west end usually). I have had to take 376 and cross at the "Hot Metal Bridge" to go to and from.

It is really a shame to see another Brick and Mortar go, especially one with a history of some pretty good demonstrator (Past guy are... some famous some pretty well known on here) and a present employee was on Fool Us recently. Another great thing about the owners ethics was, the demonstrators were taught to not sell anything for the sake of a sale, they were only to sell items within the customers skill level. I found that to be true class.

I really wish someone with money to invest would have bought it up. It really is a prime location in a pretty decent part of Pittsburgh.
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Wizard of Oz
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This store is ingrained in my memory, and I will never forget it. I hope there will be a way to keep it going, but if not, they are the perfect example of what buying magic used to be like when it was done right. And they did it right, for a long time.

I spent so many dollars in this store and the experience was worth so much more than I paid.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Poof-Daddy
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My wife had a CPR class at her work today and needed to go to Pittsburgh for it. I promptly offered to drive and kill the 8 hrs till I had to pick her up to go home. I went to visit a magician friend who is in the hospital in Oakland then I spent a couple hours in the afternoon at the shop. Linda was there and I got to say goodbye in person (she is saying 2-3 weeks tops at this point). The prices they have now are at least 50% off and up to 80%. They are selling a lot below cost just to be rid of it.

Pickins are very slim but I grabbed a bunch of items that you just "go thru" over time. (TT's, silks, coin purses, sponge bunnies...). I was very pleasantly surprised that they found a still wrapped copy of the book "Digital Effects - The Magic of Joe Mogar" by Steve Beam (marked down to $18) WOW, I jumped on that one because I have been looking for some thimble stuff. I also snagged a half price dvd I have been wanting.

They are now taking some pix of inventory and posting them on Facebook so you can get a quick idea what type of stuff is left. Calling first still best option and they are taking phone orders and shipping still. They gathered up a couple orders over the phone while I was there.

I know there are a couple clubs in the area so I guess you can still find a way to meet other magicians but that is probably what I will miss the most about the shop. I almost always met someone new when I went. I belong to a small club in the Washington Pa area that has Co/meetings with the Washington FCM chapter once a month but I may have to look into the IBM in Pittsburgh area.
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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