I had a confusing conversation with a Californian yesterday in which I repeatedly used the term "party store" while discussing my recent visit to Flint. I was trying to describe the huge role party stores played for Flint residents thirsty for beer and wine, especially teenagers. He thought Flintoids had an unhealthy attachment to wrapping paper.
So how far does the party store label extend outside of Flint? Something tells me they don't use the term in Grand Rapids. I'm hoping some misguided grad student in linguistics wrote a dissertation on this, but I'd settle for any info from readers.
Here's an earlier discussion from the comment section of a post on Civic Park that touches on party stores: