The Monkey Joe's in Cary closed on Sunday, a surprise to families that had planned birthday parties and other events there.
On Tuesday evening, a voice mail message at the business, popular for its collection of inflatables and other activities, said that it was closed for business and thanked customers for their loyalty. On the business' Facebook page, several fans ask if it's actually closed, but haven't gotten a response.
"Is it true you are closing???? We are so very sad!!!!" wrote one Facebook fan on Sunday.
"Don't be sad. The kids who had parties [scheduled] and parents who cannot get deposits back should be sad," responded another.
According to an employee who was cleaning up the spot on Walnut Street in Cary on Wednesday afternoon, the store closed at the end of the business day on Sunday. Donna, who wouldn't give her last name, said that the Raleigh Monkey Joe's location would be calling people who have parties booked to accommodate them.
A press release from Monkey Joe's states that the business closed Sunday "due to personal reasons by the local franchise owner."
Customers with Frequent User Cards can now use their cards at the seven other Monkey Joe's locations in North Carolina in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Gastonia, Pineville, Matthews, Greensboro and Charlotte, it says.
Melanie Kirchhoff, an employee at the Raleigh location, was going through paperwork that the Cary store left with them to contact customers with booked parties starting with those that are scheduled as soon as this weekend or earlier.
The two businesses are franchises of a national chain and are under different ownership. Kirchhoff said that the Raleigh location will be offering Cary customers discounts and will work to reschedule their parties at the Raleigh location on Glenwood Avenue. Because the two businesses have different owners, the Raleigh location can't refund deposits.
"We're trying to help out any way that we can," Kirchhoff said. "I know this is a shock for everybody. We don't want any of the children to be upset. We're trying to fit everybody in as best we can."
A Monkey Joe's representative suggested customers contact the corporate office if they have questions.