Have you ever wondered what it feels like to live in an era outside of your own? Antiquing gives a glimpse of the old while living in the new. We’ve selected four unique antique stores in and around Atlanta that offer collectible books and music, vintage clothing, furniture and everything in one.
Highland Row Antiques
On the outside, Highland Row may seem small — maybe even undaunting. But step inside and you’ll find two levels of midcentury furniture, art and decorative accessories. Here, rare finds are the norm. One classic piece is a 1956 Knoll pedestal table designed by architect Eero Saarinen. And other unique pieces sit across the room, such as two 1960s pink crushed velvet settee chairs.
The building constructed in the early 1900s was once a stable for horses, and later, a warehouse for a grocery store. Today, every corner of the 10,000-square-foot antique store located in Poncey-Highland has something new to discover. Walking downstairs is like walking back into another era — a lot like your grandparents’ basement. The 14-year-old business stores items for more than two dozen buyers handpicked by the owner. With several rooms and a common area in the middle, there are childhood toys, vinyl records, furniture and clothes that take up nearly every nook.
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Usually the first Saturday of the month, owner Angela Baker opens the downstairs area and places antiques onto the parking lot from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. for what she names the “basement market.” The weekend event offers a truckload of merchandise that has never been in the shop. In fact, the website describes the event as “part antique flea market, part block party.” While parking is limited to a shared small lot, street parking is available.
628 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-815-8830, highlandrowantiques.com.
It’s hard to decide which is more obvious as you approach the store: the big black-and-white letters that unapologetically spell out CRIMINAL RECORDS or the vociferous music blasting from the speakers. Either way, it’s hard for a passerby to miss the locally owned record store, which has been a staple of Little Five Points for nearly 30 years. The 5,000-square-foot storefront offers vintage and new vinyls, CDs, cassettes, DVDs and comics, and shoppers can find everything from current hip-hop music by Drake to Miles Davis’ 1975 live double album “Agharta.”
The owner, Eric Levin, says it’s a family-friendly environment for all ages, and as people peruse the shop, customers are welcome to bring their pets, too.
1154 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-215-9511, criminalatl.com.
Atlanta Vintage Books
Located in Chamblee, a sidewalk of cracked pavement leads to Atlanta Vintage Books, a rustic store sandwiched between other surrounding small, local businesses. The two-story shop reveals what seems like a never-ending list of genres, including history books, radical literature, religion-based texts, and according to the owners, one of the largest children’s book collections in the Southeast.
Eleven years ago, married couple Bob Roarty and Jan Bolgla decided to leave their
jobs in the print industry to take over the business from its previous owners. “We have something in common with everyone who comes in the store,” says Roarty. What makes this vintage store unique? Start with the limited edition of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” valued at $12,000. But there’s no need to be alarmed. Not all items are high-priced. The shop offers books starting at $1.
3660 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. 770-457-2919, atlantavintagebooks.com.
Fast Doll Vintage Shop
Fast Doll Vintage Shop — new to the scene — is a brick building nestled in West Midtown near the historic King Plow Arts Center. Store owner Caroline DeSanctis points out that the shop offers hand-selected, ready-to-wear pieces sourced from thrift stores, estate sales, online auctions and drop-offs. Specializing in pieces from the ’20s to the ’60s, Fast Doll Vintage carries dresses — both day and formal — along with embroidered jackets, secretary tops, pinup girl bras, Chanel loafers and myriad unique accessories.
With exclusivity at the forefront, DeSanctis offers appointment-only showings on weekdays so customers can browse at their leisure. On the weekends, however, the store is open for walk-ins from 12-6 p.m.
981 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 912-247-0072, fastdoll.com.
QUICK TIPS FOR ROOKIE ANTIQUE SHOPPERS
1. Make a list of the items you want to find.
2. Arrive early at the store, and be prepared to spend a few hours at the location.
3. Take friends to get second opinions on the items you’re interested in buying.
4. Research stores before going.
5. Ask lots of questions.