Large B&B stores will be renovated but not closed
Turns out the big B&B stores in Ocean City and Sea Girt aren’t closing after all.
B&B South announced it would close its “physical store operations” in those two locations while an LBI location would not reopen. The message clearly stated that they are not affiliated with B&B North, a separate company that operates stores in Lavallette and Seaside Park of the same name.
B&B North Vice President Jeffrey Davidson told New Jersey 101.5 that his company is taking over the B&B South locations, which will briefly close for renovations and reopen in May.
Things have changed at the Ocean City store in the 16 years since he last ran it, the renovations won’t just be physical, according to Davidson.
“We’re going to open the back doors, we’re going to change the dressing rooms, we’re going to move the registers, we’re going to open up the floor a lot more,” Davidson said. “We’re going to reinstate Senior Day Tuesday which was discontinued in Ocean City. We’re a much softer company when it comes to return policies and general customer service.”
Davidson said the Ocean City and Sea Girt stores will also be open all day and close at 9 or 10 p.m.
A unique decor will not change
One thing that won’t change are two VW Beetle, a Karmann Ghia, an Ocean City lifeboat, and an old Cessna airplane hanging from the ceiling of the Ocean City store.
“My dad and Phil Bertole put the Volkswagen Beetles and the plane on the ceiling. There’s a plane in my Seaside (Park) store and a plane in Beach Haven as well. They’re my dad’s. She didn’t the right to take them.” Davidson said. “We love these things.”
A “disagreement” leads to a split
Davidson said Helen Bertole runs the two B&B South stores.
“We were a company owned by Phil Bertoli and Dave Davidson in 2006 when myself, Jeffrey Davidson and Phil Bertoli’s daughter, Laura, were going to take over the business. We had some disagreements so we decided to split the business in 2006. I took the north stores in Seaside (Park) and the two Lavallettes and Laura Bertoli took the south stores, the two on LBI and the one in Ocean City,” Davidson said.
Davidson said when Phil Bertoli died in 2010, he left everything to his wife Helen Bertoli. But there was a trade deal that affected store operations.
“My dad had an agreement with Phil that whoever died first could buy all the properties. Phil and my dad were the owners and after Phil died my dad became the sole owner. Helen Bertole had three other options that “She could go until 2026 with the leases. In October she told us she was going to stay five more years, then in January she told us she was giving up the lease and closing.”
Several attempted calls to the Ocean City store were met with busy signals Monday morning.