New reptile business latest to open along Hamilton’s Main Street

Hamilton native Jim Bright and his family have opened a store specializing in reptiles and the food they eat.

“We are open, and actually doing quite well,” Bright said of Reptile Pit. “We honestly didn’t expect business to take off like it has, but it’s been a pretty steady stream of customers so far.”

The shop, at 512 Main St., is selling all types of reptiles, and will add other animals.

The animals available now include snakes, lizards, tortoises, turtles, tarantulas and scorpions.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“Pretty much right now, that’s what we have in,” he said. “We’re going to be adding small animals, guinea pigs, the pet rats, things of that sort. Salt-water fish will be added, and we will do a few species of freshwater, but we’re not going to have a big selection."

Bright, who managed two Richards Pizza locations for several years, including the one on Main Street, opened it along with his wife, Jan Bright; and sons, Justin Johnson and Joshua Johnson, who graduated from Fairfield High School.

Bright said that aside from proximity to area customers, people should consider his store because, “We’re cheaper than most of the other places they’re going to, more knowledgeable. We also carry all the feeders, crickets, mealworms, superworms, dubia roaches.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

He’s been working with reptiles about 30 years, selling at flea markets, but having to bring them home every weekend was a hassle. One of the sons suggested opening a reptile shop.

The Reptile Pit is located in the same building as Future Great Comics, Silkworm Tattoo, MoonDog’s gift shop and the newly opened “Soulshine Wellness on Main” health-food and vitamin store.

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Across the street, developers are planning a new entertainment venue called HUB on Main, with an address of 501 Main St., a craft brewery and sports bar with a large outdoor entertainment area. HUB stands for “Hamilton’s Urban Backyard."

Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, noted there’s an increasing diversity of stores along Main Street.

“Main Street is full of unique businesses, which I think is the attraction,” Bates said. “The HUB is going to be here in the near future. Even if the Reptile Pit isn’t something a particular consumer may be interested in, it’s a positive to see the lights on in a business. Even if somebody’s not going to go to the Reptile Pit, they may go to a business next door, because they see a whole strip of options.”

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