The Reptarium shows snakes don’t ‘byte’

Youtuber ‘SnakebytesTV’ opens new business, The Reptarium, in the Utica area to help people get comfortable with all different kinds of reptiles


Evan Gray and Cameron Smale

In the past couple of years it seems that the Utica area, especially around the downtown area, has been getting new installations and improvements at a very fast rate. The Reptarium that opened right off of Van Dyke Avenue is an example of this. This Reptarium is similar to a museum where people can visit and loom at all the crazy and exotic reptiles the owner, Brian Barczyk, has. Barczyk also has a YouTube channel known as ‘SnakebytesTV’ which mainly comprises of Barczyk recording his pets and all their antics.

“I’ve been working with reptiles for about 30 years,” Barczyk said. “And I just wanted to build a place that I could see myself going to.”

Many people all over the world are reptile owners and have all kinds of different pets, but usually they are on the smaller side. The Reptarium has a whole different spectrum when it comes to the size of some of the animals, especially the snakes. There are pythons and many other snakes inside The Reptarium that are easily bigger than an average human.

“One of my brothers used to have a snake,” junior Darius Edwards said. “It was small at first but as it got bigger. It also got scarier and I started to not go near it. Thankfully, when my brother moved out the snake went with him, I didn’t like that thing.”

The Reptarium opened right around Halloween this year and right when it did, it was an immediate hit as people were piling in to see all the crazy reptiles. Barczyk said that he wanted to open it because he wants to give people a first-hand experience and try to help people get over their fears of these animals.

Herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles, snakes especially. This is a very common fear and The Reptarium is set out to show people that though these huge, scaly creatures may look terrifying to some, they are not really scary and can make great pets.

“I really hate reptiles, they’re so weird looking,” junior Julia Clements said. “But I think The Reptarium is going to be cool and will bring a lot of new people to the Utica area.”

The Reptarium is located on one of the busiest roads in the Utica area, Van Dyke Avenue. This location makes it so cars are constantly driving by and seeing the museum.

“I see The Reptarium every day on my way to and from work,” senior Brianna Karas said. “And even though I see it so much, I’ve never been there and don’t know if I ever will because snakes really scare me.”

The Reptarium is open Friday through Sunday and welcomes anyone to head inside and take a look at all the reptiles inside. The hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

“I’m juggling a lot of hats at the same time when it comes to my business and Youtube,” Barczyk said. “But they are all things and involve things I’m passionate about, so I like it.”