St. Paul’s Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store reopening in St. Louis Park

Despite predictions that the pandemic shuttering of Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store would be permanent, the store is reopening in a new location — in St. Louis Park — on Small Business Saturday.

“Toddlers and their grown-ups can rejoice as we are bringing the fun and nostalgia back!” co-owner Jennifer Southerling announced in a press release Thursday. The store closed “due to the pandemic and was said it was among the thousands of businesses that will likely stay closed forever, but we are defying the odds!”

In September of 2020, Southerling announced that the end of the track was nigh for the iconic children’s destination at the corner of Cleveland and Marshall avenues.

Southerling and a next-door neighbor from Robbinsdale purchased the store from founder Bob Medcraft in late 2019, promising to continue the legacy he had built.

Medcraft used the store as a launching point for the Choo Choo Bob television show, which first aired in June 2012 on Saturdays at KSTC-TV, Channel 45.

“It’s pretty hard to run a hands-on children’s toy store in the middle of a pandemic,” Medcraft said at the time.

The toy store was popular for its birthday celebrations, which sometimes featured appearances in character from store employee Paul Howe, otherwise known as Engineer Paul, a show regular.

The store’s new location is at 1665 West End Blvd in St. Louis Park.Related Articles

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