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Friendly Dry Cleaners closing

CLOSING — Helena Mindzak stands among customers’ dry cleaning at Friendly Dry Cleaners in Weirton. Mindzak has announced plans to close the long-standing business at the end of the month. -- Craig Howell

WEIR TON — After almost 70 years of business, Friendly Dry Cleaners will be closing its doors for good later this month.

Founded in 1954 by the late Steve Mindzak, the business has provided dry-cleaning and tailoring services to multiple generations of Weirton area residents. But now his wife, Helena Mindzak, who has been running the store since 2015, says it is time to close up shop.

“I have mixed feelings,” she said of the decision, which she noted came through a combination of her age, changes in the economy and culture, and not being able to have enough help at the dry cleaner located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Weirton. “I cannot do it anymore.”

Helena Mindzak said she and one other employee have been operating the business for much of the last year.

“It’s a little much for two of us,” she said. “It’s not easy running a small business.”

She explained the official final day for Friendly Dry Cleaners will be Friday, although she will come into the store for limited hours for a few weeks after in the event customers still have items to pick up.

The week of Aug. 1, pickups will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the week of Aug. 8, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the week of Aug. 15, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Steve Mindzak built the business from the ground up, deciding to open his own shop after stints with both the Star Laundry in Steubenville and Coronet Cleaners. Friendly Dry Cleaners’ first storefront was in a building near its current location, which would be built as the business began to grow.

Deciding to retire, Steve sold the business in 2009, but opted to return a few years later. Throughout the years, he and Helena worked to have an eye for detail while treating their customers like family.

“I appreciate everyone who has patronized the business,” she said.

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