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Tony's Party Shop, 6165 Saint Andrews Road: December 2013   30 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in closing











Tony's Party Shop was on Saint Andrews Road in a Seven Oaks Shopping Center outparcel (not far from the former Irmo K-Mart).

Commenter Homer noted the closing, and sent in a set of pictures here. I took these two sets of pictures several weeks apart. The property is currently up for sale as shown in this listing

(Hat tip to commenter Homer)

UPDATE 27 April 2014 -- An earlier version of this post assumed the owner had passed away. Happily that seems to be wrong.

UPDATE 8 February 2017 -- These photos are from commenter Homer, who says:

I've attached 3 new pictures from Tony's Party Shop. I thought they were
getting ready to demolish it but it turns out they have gutted it to the
bare walls and have been working on the inside of the part that used to
be the actual liquor store. There's no signage anywhere so I have no
idea what may be in the works.




Written by ted on April 24th, 2014

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30 Responses to 'Tony's Party Shop, 6165 Saint Andrews Road: December 2013'

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  1. I like the sign in the window, Nothing in here is worth you dying for.
    That may sound extreme to some but, when I was in business, working hard for the money I earned, and someone would steal from me, I would get very angry.
    I put a sign in my window that said, Owner sleeps here three nights a week with a loaded shotgun, you figure out which three nights.


    24 Apr 14 at 7:09 am

  2. @rick - Anyone who ever met Tony would understand the sign. That man always reminded me of an old mafia don. From what I understand he was big in the video poker business back in the day....


    24 Apr 14 at 5:22 pm

  3. @Homer - I have a friend that owns a half dozen or so convenience stores in the Columbia and surrounding area, when poker machines were legal, he told me that the machines paid ALL his overhead, all other sales from the stores were pure profit. And did you know, and I can not verify this but, he said he only made about 5 cents per gallon of gas sold.
    I have another friend that owns 3 convenience stores in Columbia and I asked him this question, why is it that when the price of oil goes up you raise your price on gas when your underground tanks are full of the gas you paid a lesser amount for? He said because when he orders his next truck load of gas the price may be higher and it cost a lot for a truck load of gas, and he needs to be able to pay for it. So I asked, well then when the price goes down on oil or gas, why does it take so long for you to lower your price?
    Because I may still be buying gas from the distributor, that paid a premium for the gas they purchased before the pipeline, if you will, gets the cheaper gas in it.
    Not a great answer but, that's the answer I got.


    24 Apr 14 at 5:43 pm

  4. Tony was one of the people whose names came out in the Brett Parker investigation in their bookie ring.


    24 Apr 14 at 9:34 pm

  5. @rick - I think you are on the mark with the profits from gas prices. I have heard the same thing myself.

    If you remember when Opening Break and Bubba n Buck's were in business, the owner of those also ran a video game business called Great Games.Not only did he supply games like Pac-Man, Galaga and all of old favorites but he was making an absolute killing by supplying video poker games to convenience stores, bars and of course his own establishments.

    I heard that Tony had a few scrapes with the law over video poker over the years.


    24 Apr 14 at 9:38 pm

  6. @badger - I never heard his name during the whole Parker thing but it does not surprise me in the least.


    24 Apr 14 at 9:40 pm

  7. I have a good friend who worked for Tony for several years. Tony's son is still part-owner of the Wild Hare bars. My friend helped Tony get his liquor distributing business going several years back. They had their hands in several things, but Tony was a nice man. Ted- Inhave not heard that Tony


    24 Apr 14 at 10:03 pm

  8. Sorry about that, I'm trying to type on my phone with fat thumbs. Anyways, I have not heard about Tony passing away. I do know that the law was giving him a hard time, especially after the whole Brett Parker incident. I actually went to Tony's house out on Lake Murray once. It was on a point, so it had probably a 120 degree view of the water. The house sat on about at least three acres of land, and the property was worth well over a million dollars. That's is now gone too, sold to pay legal bills, I assume.


    24 Apr 14 at 10:09 pm

  9. Well, I'd certainly be glad to be wrong about his passing. Can anyone confirm?


    24 Apr 14 at 11:49 pm

  10. For anyone interested, here is an interesting story about the Parker gambling ring and how Tony's Party Shop fit into it:


    25 Apr 14 at 8:23 am

  11. @ted - I'm not sure about Tony's passing. I heard it from someone else. I know that he has been in bad health for a while. I did not know that the party shop was involved in the Parker gambling ring. Maybe it was his health and the while Parker ordeal that brought about the closing of the party shop.


    25 Apr 14 at 9:13 am

  12. @ted - I tried searching for an obit for Tony and couldn't find one. Maybe the person I heard it from was just blowing smoke. You may want to redact the 'passing' comment unless someone else can substantiate it.


    26 Apr 14 at 2:01 am

  13. I also couldn't find anything in the Social Security Death Index on any "Kokolis" resembling Tony's name.


    26 Apr 14 at 7:56 am

  14. As I was coming down St. Andrews Rd this afternoon I saw, out of the corner of my eye, what appeared to be burnt debris in front of Tony's. I didn't have time to turn around and check it out. If I have time I'll investigate tomorrow.


    12 Jul 14 at 2:15 am

  15. I heard that Tony's burnt down. I thought maybe it was done intentionally for insurance money, bu after talking to the friend that I mentioned before, I found out that they had let the insurance lapse on the building because they could not afford it. The Kokolis's will not see a dime from this. Matter of fact, they will probably owe money for the fire department services, etc. Also, old man Tony is alive and well, although he is almost completely broke now.


    13 Jul 14 at 5:10 pm

  16. @Cam - I saw what I thought was remnants of a fire on Friday afternoon. I tried to get by there yesterday to take a few pictures but was too busy. I can't believe that Tony is broke unless it has to do with his ill health. I am reserving comment on some things I have heard in the past as they are unsubstantiated and not going to start any rumors about these statements.


    13 Jul 14 at 11:15 pm

  17. @Cam - and his legal bills.....


    13 Jul 14 at 11:15 pm

  18. I noticed the charcoaled remnants after Homer mentioned them and there was yellow caution tape surrounding the building making me ponder the possibility that this building will wind up having a date with the excavator soon...


    14 Jul 14 at 1:12 am

  19. Homer- My good friend was close to the Kokolis's, but I just knew them by aquaintance. Sometimes rumors are true, at least partially. I think of the phrase "you reap what you sow" when I hear about Tony being broke. I don't wish that on him, but if his affairs had all been legitimate, he would not be in the predicament that he is in now.


    14 Jul 14 at 11:51 am

  20. @Cam - I'm just waiting to see if any skeletons come out of the closet concerning the latest, ahem, high profile Lexington County official to be caught up scandal......


    15 Jul 14 at 12:09 am

  21. I am sad to hear of all of this. My father was good friends with Tony, right up until his death in 1998. I went into the party shop a few times after that, just to say hey to Tony and see what he had been up to. When I moved from the Irmo area after college graduation (2000), I stopped keeping tabs on things.

    I noticed a few months ago when I went to visit my mother, that the shop was closed. I asked her about it, and she said she had no idea what had happened. I've asked a few people and no one seemed to know anything.


    15 Jul 14 at 12:10 pm

  22. Homer- The Lexington County official that you speak of has been rumored to be dirty for decades. He was able to do whatever he wanted to for a long, long time. He is reaping what he sowed, and I don't know anybody that is upset about that.


    15 Jul 14 at 1:39 pm

  23. Except for the official himself.


    15 Jul 14 at 1:40 pm

  24. Big dumpster in front of Tony's today. Looks like the demolition may have begun....


    22 Dec 16 at 10:01 pm

  25. The building on the right (closest to St. Andrews) has been gutted significantly) while the left building (closest to NAPA) is also getting some work though at this point it's not as extensive...not sure what is coming to this building yet but I sense that something (in due course) is on the horizon...


    5 Feb 17 at 7:38 pm

  26. I noticed this morning that they are partitioning off parts of the building. Still no idea what's in the works.


    8 Feb 17 at 12:50 am

  27. I noticed signage that signage that Pelican's SnoBalls is coming soon to this site...


    11 Feb 17 at 3:29 pm

  28. They were planning on moving into the building next door to me last fall. It was contingent on me renting part of my property to them for outdoor seating and such. I turned them down.


    11 Feb 17 at 11:48 pm

  29. Thank God this is not going to be ANOTHER title loan office!!!


    11 Feb 17 at 11:52 pm

  30. Looks like Pelican's is getting close to opening. The painting appears to be complete and the picnic table have been delivered.


    16 Mar 17 at 12:38 am

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