Archive for the ‘Stores’ Category

The Bomb Shelter

April 22, 2012

The Bomb Shelter
923 Bank Street

For years I used to travel to Cleveland for the bulk of my vintage goods, but we finally have one in Akron. The Bomb Shelter has furniture, board games, dishes, magazines, records, posters, and even motorcycles crammed into a 12,000 square foot space. Even if you’re not in the mood for buying, take some time to stop by and peruse the variety of Akron-related antiques and collectibles.


Peace, Love, & Light

August 3, 2011

Peace, Love and Light, Inc.
841 N. Main St.
Akron OH 44310
(330) 535-5683

In the early 1980s Gary Saus planted an acorn on his North Main St. property with the hope that it would represent the foundation of his new business. For the following decades he operated The Acorn Grows, a metaphysical shop that was an anchor for many Akron residents seeking more knowledge about their ideologies.

Although the Acorn Grows closed in 2001, the storefront has been revamped and re-imagined by Lisa Marie, the new proprietor who describes herself as a “Sea Otter of the Universe” on her business card. The new shop sells books, stones, candles, artwork, clothing, and more. The business also hosts regular events such as astrology study groups, candle magic, and spiritual development.

The location additionally serves as a meeting place for Lisa Marie’s second operation: the Abundance-R-Us Food Co-op. For a $10 fee members can purchase fresh produce, delivered on a weekly basis.

While the business now has a different name and new proprietors, it still has the mighty oak out front, planted by Gary Saus so many years ago.

Retro Home Decor

March 2, 2011

Retro Home Decor
451 W. Market St.

I’m pretty busy this week, so I’ll make this one short!

West Market has a great stretch of antique stores a tiny flea markets that I plan on slowly covering over the next few months.

Davin Strong had a pretty steady gig with Chrysler until he was handed a pink slip and had to find a new job. After much soul searching he finally decided to take his life in a different direction and purchased 451 West Market to make his dream of retro interior design a reality.

Retro Home Decor is filled with classic furniture and decorations from the 1930s through the 1980s. It’s difficult to nail down a description of Davin’s entire collection, so I highly recommend that you stop by and check out the awesomeness. My favorite is the amazing macramé lamp hanging from the third-floor ceiling. See the above photos for just a taste of the collection.

Highland Shoe Repair

February 13, 2011

Highland Shoe Repair
828 W Market Street

(Note: You may not be able to tell from my poor photography, but the mannequins on display in the photo corresponded with the release of the film The Green Hornet.)

It’s difficult to imagine that in in this digital age a shoe repair shop would receive much business in the greater Akron area, but cobbler/philosopher/humorist Bob Ferguson has made it happen in Highland Square since 1993.

Ferguson, who was born in Akron and attended Ellet High, studied to be an editorial cartoonist after leaving the Army. With few prospects he found a job with a chain shoe shop, but found himself dissatisfied with his position and decided to purchase the space next to the Highland Theater.

Always known for his unique outlook on life, Ferguson uses his wit and penchant for commentary on pop culture and current events by arranging decorated mannequins in the front window of his shop. While some of the displays may include his love for the WJW-TV8 characters/personalities Ghoulardi or Big Chuck and Lil’ John, he also drew headlines in 2001 with a scene involving “Lady Justice” severing the bloody head of Osama bin Laden, just one week after September 11th. A resident or two complained, but Ferguson’s statement was allowed to stay, protected by the First Amendment.

Ferguson also grabbed some ink in 2003 when he entered and was accepted into the Red Bull Flutag competition. He competed with thirty-six other finalists who constructed hand-made novelty flying machines that are required to be powered solely by human beings. His swine-based creation, Pigasus, finished in the final third of the competition, but it didn’t diminish the love bestowed upon him by the community. He continues to cobble today, as well as keep his little corner of Highland Square full of character.

[Final Note: A portion of the information in this post came from articles in the Beacon Journal—Katie Byard (9/25/2001), David Giffels (8/3/2003), David Giffels (8/14/2003)]

The Peanut Shoppe

January 1, 2011

The Peanut Shoppe
203 South Main Street

There are very few retail stores on Main Street in downtown Akron, but The Peanut Shoppe has been a mainstay since it opened in the 1930s. Owner Margie Klien has been the manager since her father Jack Ashbrook retired in 1998 and she continues to maintain the same nostalgic appeal that has kept it open for so long. The store originally operated on the west side of Main right next to the Civic Theater until 2006 when it moved across the street. Luckily the little shoppe hasn’t lost any of its charm. The walls are covered with photos of Akron athletes, including several decades of the Soap Box Derby. Visitors can have their pick of dozens of nuts and candies and even have natural peanut, almond, and cashew butter made to order. Peanuts are still processed in the original roasters that were purchased when the shoppe opened as a Planters Peanut Store more than seventy years ago.


August 30, 2010

JAC Games
1101 West Portage Trail
Mon 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Tues 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.,Wed 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Thu 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat 2 p.m.-10 p.m., Sun 2 p.m.-9 p.m.

The first time I entered JAC Games I wandered around for at least ten minutes before being noticed. It wasn’t because it was noisy or I was difficult to see, but because everyone in the store was hunched over a large gaming table, quietly and intensely analyzing the small figures that had been placed among the intricately designed terrain.

This isn’t Monopoly or even Risk, it’s Warhammer 40,000, a complicated, yet highly addictive game that uses miniature figures on a hand-made playing field.  Games like these have a lot of stereotypes attached to them, but they are a lot of fun and a great way to spend time with friends or make new ones.

And that’s what I think is cool about JAC Games, it’s not just a shop, it’s also place to meet people, try out new stuff and get creative with a whole universe of games. If there’s a game you don’t know how to play (they have a lot more than just Warhammer), they will show you how and if you are looking for a place to gather, you are welcome to do so for free.

Just as a tip, JAC Games is really easy to pass. West Portage Trail is a very steep hill, so when you get close to the entrance of Timber Top apartments you need to slow down!

Comic Books and Razor Blades . . .

June 6, 2010

Bernie’s Shaver Shop & Collectibles
828 East Exchange St.
Call for times or to make an appointment

I thought I had visited every collectible shop in a 60 mile radius since I moved to Akron in 1997. I thought wrong. Bernie’s doesn’t exactly scream “nerd hangout” from the street, but it is a fun site for urban adventurers. When I parked in the shop’s side lot I was greeted by a Hulk Hogan mask in the window, giving me an idea of what awaited inside.

Bernie’s is basically a dude’s house on Exchange, but apparently they’ve been open for several decades. I believe that before selling collectibles they sold and serviced barbershop equipment. When you first walk in you’ll be greeted by a three-foot Yoda doll, a life-like Predator head, and piles of comics, posters, magazines, Hot Wheels, and more. It’s a small place, but it’s crammed full of stuff.

Don’t expect price tags, this is the kind of place where you negotiate, so if you like Star Trek and you know how to haggle you may be in luck. Unfortunately my charms didn’t get me any closer to affording the AT-AT I’ve always wanted.

There are hours posted, and they are usually open on Saturday afternoons, but the owner highly recommended calling to make an appointment.

Snackin’ on the Cuyahoga Falls Strip

May 21, 2010

2164 Front St.; Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Metropolis Popcorn
2164 Front St.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221

Closed Tue-Wed
Mon and Thurs 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Fri 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Sat Noon-6 p.m.

While you’re exploring the Silver Eagle on the Cuyahoga Falls Riverfront District (See previous post and those that will follow) you might want to stop at Metropolis Popcorn for a tasty snack. The small storefront boasts fifty flavors of premium handmade gourmet popcorn with flavors that hold such noble names as Anonymous Addiction, Super 3 Cheese, Big League Grape, Chicago Style, Fluffer Nutter, and more.

They’re tasty, trust me.

Antiquing on the Strip

May 21, 2010

Silver Eagle Antiques
2215 Front Street
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
(330) 929-0066
Tue-Sat Noon-5:30 p.m.

I’m a big fan of antique stores but many have little to offer other than old plates and silverware pilfered from tag sales. I’m always on the lookout for fun Akron-realted items and there are many in the area that I plan to cover, but the first I would like to highlight is Silver Eagle in Cuyahoga Falls in the Riverfront District.

They specialize in sports memorabilia, so you’re a big Tribe fan you will find a special section with all the collectibles your heart desires. This is a big shop with many rooms filled with memories from years past, including a fun pennant from Euclid Beach Park, history books on Akron and Summit County, as well as ancient Akron photos and postcards.

There are plenty of odds and ends, including a large display of toasters, some with blue ribbons from some kind of toaster competition (I think) and a weird portrait of Bill Clinton, both of which are pictured above.

My favorite find has to be a triangular board game called Akronopoly. I almost picked it up, but like much of the available stock, it’s just a little overpriced. If you decide to make the purchase please let me know!

Give yourself some time to explore and make sure you call to double-check the hours.

Mmmmmmm . . . METAL!

April 3, 2010

Sound Chaser Music
646 Canton Road
Akron, OH 44312-2524
(330) 733-5570

Closed Monday
Tue-Thu 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

While Square Records in West Akron is the home base for indie rock fans, Sound Chaser on the East side caters more to the hair metal crowd. You’ll find new and used LPs, CDs and DVDs by both popular and obscure metal, hardcore and punk acts of today and years past.

Check out the King Kobra LP I picked up for a few bills. It’s just a taste of what you will find on the shelves. You can sign up for their regular email bulletin to stay up to date on new releases by sending an email to Jeffrey Watt: Rawk on, brah!

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