by Susan Cohen
Two of King Street’s oldest stores — the Silver Puffin and Bartons Toys, Candy and Gifts — have recently moved off of the retail strip to new locations. The Silver Puffin, a gift shop that sells tableware, jewelry, and more, has relocated to 43 Broad St., while Barton’s has gone off the peninsula to 728 S. Shelmore Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant. Barton's has served Charleston since 1960, while the Silver Puffin opened on King Street in the late 1990s.
According to Erastus Corning, who owns both stores with his wife Megan, the decision to move was made by their landlord, the College of Charleston.
“They wanted their building back,” he says. “We were very sad to move. We were there a long time. We love King Street. We hope to get back to King Street.”
Both of the new locations are open this week, and the shops operate retail websites as well.
According to Monica Scott, CofC's vice president of facilities planning, the school will renovate the spaces, putting a College store into the Barton's side. They will eventually reinstate the King Street entrance to the Sottile Theatre underneath the marquee.