(Aug. 2, 2019) After a prolonged absence, Toy Town is set to reopen at its Snow Hill location at 207 North Washington Street on Friday. The store will have new hours: Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The original Toy Town location opened about 10 years ago in Berlin. Owners Debbie and Richard Seaton Jr., closed their Berlin location in April 2017 to open a new shop in Snow Hill that same month.
But then a dispute erupted between then Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman and the council over the terms of the Seaton’s deal. The town of Snow Hill signed a memorandum to deed to the Seatons if certain renovations were completed over a five-year period.
City officials wanted an accelerated timeline and shut down Toy Town in February because of what they said were safety concerns and the absence of a certificate of occupancy, while Dorman argued on the Seaton’s behalf.
The Seatons have since opened Toy Town in Berlin in March, at 8 Pitt Street. After working to meet repair requirements, mostly to the floors, the Seatons were cleared by Kevin Brown, the code facilitator, to open the Toy Town Snow Hill location.
Richard Seaton credited the reopening in Snow Hill to Mayor Gary Weber, who was sworn into office in June.
“It looks like he’s a great mayor,” Seaton said.
Seaton also mentioned that many of the city officials who were involved with closing the Snow Hill location are no longer in those positions, including former Mayor Stephen Mathews and former code enforcer Jon Hill.
“I’ve felt like the officials there did not want us there,” Seaton said. “They’re all gone. We have new people in charge now.”
He’s excited to see old customers in Snow Hill. Seaton added that the Berlin location will remain open.
“It’s a great buying opportunity for items,” he said. “It will help promote the Snow Hill store to send people down there.”