A photo of the exterior of Jekyll & Hyde in Bar Harbor, taken in 2014. Credit: Courtesy of Jekyll & Hyde

After more than 50 years in business, the owner of The Jekyll & Hyde Shop in downtown Bar Harbor announced on Tuesday that it is now closed.

Britt Hulbert, who has owned and operated the shop since 2003 after purchasing it from her parents, Steve and Marilyn Hulbert, said the time was right to make a change.

“After being in business for over 50 years, we needed a change and to spend time with our families,” Britt Hulbert said in a Facebook post.

The building the shop is located in, 70 Main St., was sold this month to Kip Stone, owner of Cool As A Moose, which is located just a few doors up the street. Hulbert will continue to sell some of Jekyll & Hyde’s signature items, such as leather, knives, clothing and jewelry, online.

Jekyll & Hyde started out as a project for Steve and Marilyn Hulbert, who in 1969 were a couple of self-proclaimed hippies living in Miami Beach, where Steve Hulbert was working as a masseur for the rich and famous at swanky hotels such as the Diplomat and the Fontainebleau. Not long after the pair met, they opened Jekyll & Hyde, selling “hippie stuff” at rock festivals across the eastern U.S., and at their retail shop in North Miami Beach.

“We went to Mexico every month and brought back all the leather and fringe we could,” Steve Hulbert said. “I had leather workers making jackets [that I sold to] Ike and Tina Turner. It was a lot of fun.”

After two years in Miami, a customer of their shop there told them that everything they could sell at festivals and in Florida, they could sell in Bar Harbor. Tired of the scene, in 1971 they set up shop at 70 Main St. Though tastes have changed and Bar Harbor itself has changed around them, for nearly 50 years, Jekyll & Hyde has been a destination for counter-cultural ephemera of every stripe — gauzy cotton dresses, biker vests, intricately decorated knives and swords and glass pipes (“for tobacco use only”).

Steve and Marilyn Hulbert have opened other businesses on Mt. Desert Island, including Ryan’s Pizza and Pancho Villa’s. Today, they own several weekly vacation rentals on the island, and spend part of their year in Arizona.

For Steve Hulbert, one of the best parts of owning or being involved with the same business in the same town for as many years as he has is the friendships he has made along the way.

“When we started, we had people that mentored us. Now, we mentor people. We’ve had some really great employees that we are still in touch with after all the years. We’re very lucky,” he said.

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.