Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
New owner, creatures at bear shop
Traintown closings Columbia vendors Steel Expressions Dance in Manheim
The Teddy Bear Emporium, 47 E. Main St., Lititz, will reopen Thursday with a new owner and some new creatures to go along with the store's namesake bears.
Eleanor McKee, who bought the stuffed animal store from longtime owner Pixie Beck, has added all kinds of dragons -- stuffed and otherwise -- to the roughly 2,000-square-foot store.
McKee said that while the store will keep much of its former look, there will be a new emphasis on mythical characters and creatures, including knights and fairies. The store also carries a variety of toys and games.
Teddy Bear Emporium was closed for a little more than a week as McKee restocked the shelves and rearranged some fixtures. McKee, who previously owned a fine American craft and fair trade store in Plymouth, Mass., is bringing some of those products to the Teddy Bear Emporium.
McKee is the third owner of the store which has been in Lititz for more than 20 years. In 2009, it moved from 51 N. Broad St. McKee has one employee.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 626-8334.
Thomas' Trackside Station and Railroad Books & Videos, two stores in the Shops of Traintown, 226 Gap Road, Strasburg, are closing.
The stores are part of a family business complex at Routes 741 and 896 owned by Tom and Linda Groff. In the same complex, the Groffs operate The Strasburg Train Shop and the model railroading display at the Choo Choo Barn.
The 1,100-square-foot Thomas' Trackside Station sells Thomas & Friends merchandise and had just recently added Chuggington items.
Linda Groff explained that when the store opened 20 years ago, it was one of only four retailers in the country selling merchandise from what was then known as Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
Now that Thomas & Friends merchandise can be bought at a variety of stores, the Strasburg store can't compete, Groff said.
The 1,300-square-foot Railroad Books & Videos carries a selection of railroading items, including books, videos and train novelties. Groff said sales there also have dwindled.
Both stores currently are conducting liquidation sales, which are expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The closings will affect the jobs of several employees, Groff said.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 687-7911, choochoobarn.com.
Two new food stands opened recently at Columbia Market House, 15 S. Third St.
Smoke 'N Dog Bar-B-Q & Catering features rotisserie chicken as well as Caribbean specialty foods such as jerk wings, jerk chicken, Jamaican patties and potato balls, in addition to cinnamon buns.
Smoke 'N Dog Bar-B-Q is owned by Alphonso White, who previously owned White's Cafe, a restaurant that operated for a time at 22 E. Orange St., Lancaster.
Also at the market, TJ's Cheese Steaks & More has opened. Owned by Tonya Dollar, it features Philly-style cheese steaks made with a traditional roll and American or provolone cheese. It also has chicken cheese steaks, meatball and hot roast beef sandwiches as well as hamburgers and hot dogs.
The Columbia Market House is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Steel Expressions has opened a small, retail shop in Lititz Junction, 55 N. Water St., Lititz.
The roughly 150-square-foot shop below Appalachian Brewing Co. is a showcase for Bob Sims' custom and ornamental wrought-iron designs. The retail shop occupies a small, shed-like space.
Sims makes and sells a variety of items, included iron scrollwork for table bases as well as candleholders, religious pieces and wall hangings.
Sims, who has been a welder for 30 years, makes the items in his garage in Ephrata. A year-and-a-half ago, Sims began turning his wrought-iron creations into a full-time business.
Hours: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 327-1668, steelexpressionspa.com.
Rhythm N'Dance, a dance studio that focuses on adult dancers, opened recently in Manheim, at 6 S. Charlotte St.
Owner Jenni Calhoun said the studio welcomes dancers of all skill levels, from beginners wishing to learn a few steps for a special occasion to more experienced dancers.
Rhythm N'Dance teaches more than 15 types of dance, including the Lindy Hop and ballroom, while also offering Zumba. The studio offers both private lessons and group instruction.
Calhoun said that in the future, Rhythm N'Dance's offerings may expand to include children's classes. 341-3246, rhythmnmotionstudio.com.
Correspondent Rochelle A. Shenk contributed to this report.
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