It's been closed since Hurricane Sandy, but now, a mega toy store on the Brooklyn waterfront has finally bounced back. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
With long lines and full shopping carts, it looked like Black Friday, traditionally the busiest holiday shopping day of the year, at a Toys R Us on Bay Parkway Friday. But on this Friday, it was the reopening of the store, eight months to the day after Hurricane Sandy destroyed it.
"It took eight months to rebuild what Sandy has done, and as you can see, today's a great day in Toys R Us history and for Brooklyn," said Steven Caruso, the store's co-manager.
The store is one of only two Toys R Us stores in the borough.
'We really had to go to Manhattan or further away to find a big Toys R Us store like this," said one shopper.
A temporary tent was put up in the parking lot while the building was being repaired, but it had limited inventory.
"To make sure the community knew we were still here," said Sal Lobosco, the store's co-manager. "We didn't want to leave the parking lot here."
The store sits on the waterfront, and Hurricane Sandy's surge came up through the piers and buckled the floors. After millions of dollars of damage, the store is now re-designed. It now combines Toys R Us and Babies R Us under one roof.
As part of the store's makeover, the entrances and exits were relocated.
"I'm so glad that it opened now," said one shopper. "It's hard to find stuff because I don't really know the store anymore because they changed the games to the back, but I mean, you're going to get used to it eventually."
"I feel like I need a map to be in here, 'cause it's so beautiful," said another. "And I'm glad that it's open. It's great for the community."
The Toys R Us was the last part of the Caesar's Bay shopping center to bounce back. The Kohl's, which was also damaged by the storm, reopened in April.
To welcome back the community, the Toys R Us is offering all kinds of sales and special events.
"I'm excited to get a pool here and all new summer stuff," said one shopper.
The crowds turned out for the store's reopening Friday. There were kids in pools that had no water, and some hidden in carts covered in toys.