Mr. Mopps’, the venerable toy store on Martin Luther King near Rose, is going out of business.
The owner, Eugene Yamashita, wants to retire, according to his sister Naomi Yamashita. He tried to find a buyer but was unsuccessful, so he made the hard decision to shut down, she said. It was his wife Jean who opened the store more than 40 years ago.
There is no firm date for the closing, but the store will shut once most of the merchandise is gone, said Naomi Yamashita. Books are now ½ off and a number of toys are also on sale.
Haruna Kubota, who was browsing in the store Wednesday afternoon with her two daughters, Kaya, 7 and Shima, 5, said she was sad to learn the store would close. She said she comes to Mr. Mopps’ regularly to buy toys and birthday presents since the store has so much more variety than chain toy stores.
“I was shocked when I heard about the closing,” she said. “This is such a unique store. It’s a landmark in Berkeley.”