New model train store is dream come true for owner

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JESSUP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Black Friday Weekend is the busiest weekend for shops.

It’s also a perfect time to open a new store. That’s what Bernie Macavage did.

“You know a lot of people thought I was crazy but I just said you know I’m gonna go through and do it,” Macavage, owner of Bernie’s Model Railroad Shop, said.

Like the “little engine that could” Macavage was determined to open his new model railroad shop. He had his grand opening of the store on Church Street in Jessup Friday.

“So far the response has been great. Friday was very steady most of the day with people coming in. Yesterday, Saturday, was busy in the earlier part of the day,” Macavage said.

Macavage tells Eyewitness News he wasn’t expecting such big crowds on opening weekend.

“I’m actually very excited with the response that’ I’ve gotten from people and the excitement that the people have coming in,” Macavage said.

For Macavage, this new shop is his dream come true.

“Model trains has been something that’s been in my blood since I was a little boy. It’s always stayed with me. I’ve always been fascinated with them,” Macavage said.

He’s collected model trains for years. Now, he’s even selling his own model trains. But it hasn’t been easy opening a new store during the pandemic.

“A lot of obstacles have come up with that. So it’s been challenging and a lot of businesses have been closing because of that. And competition and online sales,” Macavage said.

Finding a location was difficult because Nacavage wanted to open up before the holidays. But he finally found the perfect spot. He says it’s good timing too, as the winter months approach and people are asked to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Everyone is spending more time at home. And hobbies themselves are on the uptick and model trains is one of those hobbies,” Macavage said.

Macavage is also selling coffee grounds for the non-profit “Erie Lackwanna Dining Car Preservation Society.”

You can only find the grounds at Bernie’s Model Railroad Shop or online.

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