Three businesses are closing their doors today, 14 months after they opened in the former firehouse in downtown Beaufort.
The Tooting Egret boutique, The Bistro and the Fiori floral arrangement shop opened in about April 2011 at 706 Craven St. All are owned by Beaufort resident Annie Ballance.
The Tooting Egret was named after a bird she nursed back to health after finding it with a broken wing. Ballance said she knew the bird would survive after it let out a "toot" one day.
The businesses collaborated, sharing an entrance to the firehouse, where customers could come in for food and drink or to buy antiques, odds-and-ends or flowers.
Ballance said that despite support from the community, the business "just would not go," and she was unable to make a profit. She is keeping the restaurant equipment intact in the building in the hopes another business will open there. She will focus on her interior-design business for now, she said.
Everything at the businesses is on sale for 75 percent off, and Ballance said she will close at about 3 p.m. today.
Details: Fiori, 843-521-4500; The Bistro, 843-521-4507; The Tooting Egret, 843-521-4506
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