Plenty of local business news took place while I was out of the office last week. Here's a few items of interest while I catch up:
-- After seven years in business, Merch Bot announced that it will close its store in the coming weeks. It is at 126 W. Holly St. in downtown Bellingham. Owner Django Bohren said several sales are planned, including a "Living Wake," on Thursday, Sept. 5. With the slogan "We sell stupid stuff," the gift store has quite a selection of items packed into a small space, from bacon mints to zombie products.
-- The Black Pearl restaurant on Railroad Avenue has closed. According to a note on the front door, the restaurant closed due to "unavoidable circumstances. The company's other two restaurants in the Barkley and Bakerview areas will remain open.
-- We've Got the Scoop, an ice cream shop in Blaine, is now closed for the season and will reopen in the spring. The Birch Bay Waterslides is also closed for the season and is schedule to reopen Memorial Day weekend.
-- TCBY is opening a second location in Bellingham. The new spot will be in Bellis Fair mall's food court area. Earlier this year they opened a frozen yogurt eatery in the Barkley district, near the movie theater.
-- Soy House is planning to open its Holly Street restaurant on Mnoday, Sept. 9, according to a Facebook post. It is going into the former Boss Tweed space. It will be the second Bellingham restaurant for the company; the other is in Bakerview Square.