A popular children's train store in St. Paul is closing for good due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Choo Choo Bob's Train Store, at the corner of Cleveland and Marshall avenues, is holding a moving sale this weekend in which "everything's for sale" including train tables, according to a Facebook event.
Co-owner Jennifer Southerling confirmed to the Pioneer Press that the store is moving out at the end of October and closing for good.
The closure isn't that much of a surprise as the owners have been looking to sell the store. In mid-March, Choo Choo Bob's temporarily closed due to the pandemic, and in the weeks following comments on the store's Facebook page indicated a lack of funds to extend the lease, so the owners were exploring their options to keep "chugging on."
Then in July, Choo Choo Bob's posted on its Facebook page that the store was for sale.
The store, which was popular for children's birthday parties, first opened in 2005 on the principle that trains are fun for people of all ages, the store's website notes. Bob Medcraft, a former movie location scout and music video producer, was the original owner, and he used the store to launch a TV series, "The Choo Choo Bob Show," which is now available to watch on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
Last year, Medcraft sold the store to Southerling and others, who planned to keep the store going.
The store hasn't shared more publicly about the closing, but Medcraft spoke to the Pioneer Press saying it's hard to run a hands-on children's toy store during a pandemic.
Meanwhile, fans of Choo Choo Bob's expressed their sadness on the store's Facebook page Tuesday, with many saying they made great memories at the store.
BMTN reached out to Choo Choo Bob's for more information.