New Again Akron Trail
Browse antique and vintage finds at more than 20 locations. Here are four we love to get you started (plus the rest of the list so you can explore).
The Bomb Shelter
Ever need camping supplies from the 1940s? How about a part from a printing press? A 4-foot-tall ‘A’ or ‘Z’ block letter? A TV from the year your grandmother was born?
“Well, the TVs aren’t for sale,” says The Bomb Shelter’s in-store manager Becky McKee. “We keep those as a museum, but most of everything here is for sale.”
Clocking in at over 26,000 square feet, The Bomb Shelter’s hodgepodge of rooms and two warehouses has been one of the Midwest’s largest meccas for vinyl, vintage and variety since opening in 2011.
There’s a room for every niche, too: There’s a Victrola-filled 1800s room and a photographer’s darkroom, sporting and camping supplies, religious items and military-supply goods to name a few.
“I spent 22 years in furniture retail, looking for this idea,” says Kevin Royer, founder of The Bomb Shelter. “So we came up with this concept of vintage superstore, almost out of thin air. Everything you see here is looking for its second or third home.”
Even if you don’t end up buying anything, a visit is a welcome trip down memory lane.
“You can fall into grandma’s kitchen, and identify stuff you know,” Royer says. “Trust me, I still do it all the time.” Open Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–4 p.m.; 923 Bank St., Akron 44305, 330/258-0088, thebombshelterstore.com
Gypsy Grace & The Vintage Goat
Joe Scheibe and Angel Grace Gunter had been searching for a project — an investment opportunity — when they stopped in to see a two-story building on Market Street in 2012. That’s when Scheibe had his eureka moment.
“We were saying, ‘Yeah, let’s just look at this as a rental thing,’ ” he recalls. “Then, I said, ‘Now, why don’t we do this vintage shop we’d been wanting to do?’ ”
That moment resulted in Gypsy Grace & The Vintage Goat (named in honor of Gunter’s family’s spiritualist history as well as the taxidermied goat on the premises). Shoppers will find crystals and 15 types of dried sage, vintage Kodak Duaflex cameras and Edison bulbs, tarot-card sets and old oil lamps.
On top of it being a spiritualist supply store (Scheibe contracts with a resident medium) the business also stocks dozens of handcrafted items ranging from quirky-branded beard balm to cigar-box lights to medicinal oils. And let’s not forget about the resident ghost.
“Yeah, it’s been said there’s a spirit that lives here,” Scheibe says with a smile. “The mediums say he’ll be standing in the corner. I’m a skeptic with all of this. But, hey, I guess it’s our thing.” Open Thurs.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; 451 W. Market St., Akron 44303, 330/780-7753, facebook.com/gypsygraceandthevintagegoat
Located in Akron’s heart of everything hip, Highland Square, Ben Hyle’s store is for diehard fans of Bell Biv Devoe, Nickelodeon and other 1990s staples. The self-professed ’90s fanatic and “pretty serious clothing collector” opened his store after realizing the area didn’t have a place offering finely kept items from the decade he was born.
The result is a 440-square-foot store packed with racks of trucker caps, plaid flannels, primary-colored windbreakers, old NBA jerseys, Doc Martens and more.
“I was thinking … vintage is already popular here, so why not do something different?” Hyle says. “We’re an up-and-coming fashion city, and people are very expressive here — definitely not cookie-cutter.”
Among the selection of vintage pieces surrounded by Hulk Hogan flex pinups and Wheaties boxes, Hyle also offers a selection of new clothing, from all-white sneakers to highly coveted Supreme outerwear. But not everything in Hyle’s store has a price tag on it.
“We have an original 1985 Air Jordan,” Hyle says, pointing to the shoe displayed behind glass. “It’s part of history in a weird way. Not everything here we can sell.” Open Wed.–Sat. 1–7 p.m., Sun. 1–6 p.m.; 777 W. Market St., Akron 44303, instagram.com/highlandthrowbacks
The Vintage Vault
“This one here is $40,000,” says Michael Pollack, holding open a clothbound director’s script from a 1917 film, one of 25 ever published. He nods to the remainder of antique books. “This whole shelf here? It’s probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The avid antique collector and former Hollywood producer decided to open a brick-and-mortar shop in 2015, after years of traveling to sales and markets throughout the state. The store started out as a place that sold old oilcans and ashtrays, but The Vintage Vault quickly morphed into a locale for pricier antiques, Pollack says, due to the demand for higher-end jewelry.
Since then, a plethora of rarities have seen their way into Pollack’s shop, from Latin text first editions to Senufo fertility statues and a Chinese wedding chest that, “someone had the nerve to turn into a TV cabinet,” Pollack says.
A year after he opened the shop, Pollack met his girlfriend, Laurie McGill, who co-manages the shop.
“I’m learning a lot from Mike,” she says, standing behind the counter. “About the books, mostly. The paintings.”
“She tries on all the rings, though,” Pollack quips.
McGill cracks a smile. “I do,” she says. “How could you not?” Open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.; 1900 W. Market St., Suite M, Akron 44313, 516/305-1039, facebook.com/vintagevaultoh
New Again Akron
Here is a list of the more than 20 shops participating in the New Again Akron trail. For more information, visit newagainakron.com.
15 Broad Street Vintage: 15 Broad St., Akron 44305, 330/249-1002, 15broadstreet.net
Abbey Ann’s: 51 West Ave., Tallmadge 44278, 330/630-5813, abbeyanns.com
Aunt Hannah’s Antiques & Collectibles: 561 W. Tuscarawas Ave., Barberton 44203, 234/706-6346, facebook.com/ahantiques92
Birchwood Supply Co.: 21 Merriman Rd., Akron 44303, 330/322-0765, birchwoodsupplyco.com
The Bomb Shelter: 923 Bank St., Akron 44305, 330/258-0088, thebombshelterstore.com
Boardwalk Thrift: 1501 Aster Ave., Akron 44301, 330/835-7570
Blue — A Goodwill Boutique: 335 S. Main St., Akron 44308, 234/200-0130, goodwillakron.org
Copley Circle Antiques: 1451 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd., Copley 44321330/576-3055, facebook.com/copleycircleantiques
Geek to Chic: 1947 W. Market St., Suite 108, Akron 44313, 234/706-5593, facebook.com/geektochicakron
Gypsy Grace & The Vintage Goat: 451 W. Market St., Akron 44303, 330/780-7753, facebook.com/gypsygraceandthevintagegoat
Habitat for Humanity ReStore: 2301 Romig Rd., Akron 44320, 330/745-9098, hfhsummitycounty.org/restore
Happy Tails Thrift Shop: 1770 Merriman Rd., Akron 44313, 330/794-7826, summithumane.org/thrift-shop
Highland Throwbacks: 777 W. Market St., Akron 44303, instagram.com/highlandthrowbacks
New Beginning’s Thrift Shop: 932 Kenmore Blvd., Akron 44314, 234/678-8238, facebook.com/akronsaynotodope
Northside Cellar: 106 N. Main St., Akron 44308, 330/777-0557, facebook.com/bluelipspecials
Ohio Discount Store: 1739 Brittain Rd., Akron 44310, 330/633-4040,
Robinhood Resale Thrift Store: 914 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron 44310, 419/217-7097
Rustewelle & Barker: 1265 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd., Copley 44321, 330/323-6578, facebook.com/rustewelleandbarker
The Salvation Army Family Store: 1634 Brittain Rd., Akron 44310, 330/633-2575, 150 Rothrock Rd., Copley 44321, 330/666-7536
The Sassy Sunflower: 1351 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd., Suite O, Copley 44321, 330/212-0633
Slim Pickens Second Hand Shop: 2510 Triplett Blvd., Akron 44312, 330/306-5747
Village Discount Outlet: 193 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron 44319, 2930 State Rd., Cuyahoga Falls 44223, 614/443-3421, villagediscount.com
The Vintage Vault: 1900 W. Market St., Suite M, Akron 44313, 516/305-1039, facebook.com/vintagevaultoh