A popular Beaufort toy store is on the move, one of several business happenings downtown.
Monkey's Uncle, which has sold children's toys, games, puzzles and other gifts since opening in 2013, will relocate from its location at 808 Bay St., owner Joe O'Brien said. The store expects to reopen in a larger space at 909 Bay Street on Friday.
The owners say more space will allow for an expanded book section, more events like game nights and visits from popular book characters like Curious George and Pete the Cat, more baby gifts and a bigger selection of family games.
Competing with online retailers means providing experiences customers can't get online, O'Brien said.
"We want to use the front to just create more reasons to bring more people in the store," O'Brien said. "That's where the events come in — book characters, author signings, game nights — where we can configure the space to where people aren't claustrophobic. It feels like it's a place that's suitable for that kind of event."
O'Brien plans to have the new store open Friday in time for the monthly First Friday event downtown. Bay Street will be closed to traffic Friday evening to allow visitors to walk freely.
Monkey's Uncle will move into the space formerly occupied by Hollyhocks gift shop, which moved to 903 Bay earlier this year.
Elsewhere on Bay Street, Beaufort Bread Company is preparing to open a location at 705 Bay.
Next door, a sign has gone up for Island Lavender Co., a market for various lavender products.