Significant Business Changes Looming For Downtown Berlin

Significant Business Changes  Looming For Downtown Berlin
Berlin's Main Street is pictured in a file photo.

BERLIN – Downtown Berlin will welcome several new businesses with the onset of fall.

Within the next month, new shops expected to open in town include a pet supply shop, a travel-inspired trading company and a bookstore. In addition, existing shops A Little Bit Sheepish and Gilbert’s Provisions will move to new Main Street locations.

“Everyone wants to be open for our busy holiday shopping season,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director.

In the Main Street space previously occupied by Downtown Video, Burley Oak’s Bryan Brushmiller will open Viking Tree Trading Company, which he described as a shop that would “share top quality goods from around the globe.”

“Our passion for adventure has inspired a brick and mortar store,” he said.

Brushmiller said merchandise included men’s clothing, vintage motorcycles, records and expedition accessories, among other things.

“We saw there was a need for a different type of store downtown…,” he said. “We tend to travel a lot for business. Whenever we go somewhere we always find neat stuff so that’s the idea, bringing it back to Berlin and sharing it.”

Wells praised the renovations Brushmiller made to the space at 114 North Main St. She said the storefront hadn’t been improved in decades.

“I love the fact that he’s brought that building back to what it looked like originally,” she said. “I think it’s going to be beautiful.”

Next door, Toby Gilbert is preparing to move into the space previously occupied by Main Street Sweets. Gilbert has operated his charcuterie and cheese shop, Gilbert’s Provisions, on Commerce Street since 2016.

“Toby’s a diamond in the rough,” Wells said. “He got a head start being behind Bruder Hill (on Commerce Street) but now it’s time for him to be on Main Street. It’s a great move.”

She added that the town was becoming known as a culinary destination.

“Toby is an asset for our business community,” Wells said.

Wells said she was also thrilled to see Yuppy Puppy, the Bethany Beach pet supply store, open a second location in Berlin. The store, which sells a variety of pet collars, treats and accessories for dog lovers, will be located in part of the former PNC Bank building.

“They’ve been trying to come down for a while so I was happy to find them a spot,” Wells said. “It’s a great fit, we’re a really pet friendly town.”

Wells said A Little Bit Sheepish was set to move from its current location to the other half of the PNC Bank building. Plans for a concession type business at the back of the building are still underway.

Also on South Main Street, The Greyhound Indie Bookstore will open in the space formerly occupied by Snapdragon. Proprietor Susan Ayres Wimbrow, who also owns the building, is eager to bring the town a bookstore that will offer both bestsellers and local books.

“I’ve been working with Susan for four years now with possibilities for her building,” Wells said. “I’m so happy and excited for her to take the leap and open the bookstore she’s always wanted. What an appropriate tribute it is to name her business after her precious greyhounds.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.