Tacoma's Antique Row is a neighborhood unto itself. Downtown, on Broadway, extending north from S. 9th St., it may seem ordinary enough from the outside. But enter in, and you'll find it's a destination for whiling away the hours of a gray day, a street for discovery, a place where treasure is sought, surprises are found, where rare gems of days gone by will catch your eye and strike your fancy. Go empty handed (perhaps with a pocket book), and return home with untold vintage delights, or at least the memory of them, now tucked away in some secret corner of the treasure chest inside your mind. Go. Don't be afraid. The shopkeepers are kind.
For a peek inside two (of the many!) shops on the row, read on. One is old, established, trusted, and true. The second is sprawling, adventurous, decorative, and new.
Lily Pad Antiques
Collectibles, Comics & Old Toys
Lily Pad Antiques, 756 Broadway
Open 11 am - 5 pm, Closed Mondays
This is a true "mom and pop" shop run by the same couple (both US Army Veterans) for the past 28 years on Broadway. They keep a friendly, colorful shop that is both jam-packed and tidy. While the entire display area of the shop can be viewed from the front door, you've got to wander through the aisles and around the corners of shelves and displays to even begin to discover the variety of what's stocked in this shop for the curious and the collector. I loved their tiny rack of vintage children's garments including 2 little white frocks. But there's also a whole shelf of beer steins, and there are so many toys! For just a sample of the treasures in store, scroll through the gallery below.
Luluz & Co.
a vintage marketplace on Broadway.
Luluz & Co., 746 Broadway
Open Daily, 11 am - 5 pm
Known on Facebook as "Luluz junk tribe" this shop is anything but junk. Luluz had its grand opening on Halloween Day 2017, so they're pretty new on the scene. Hosting antique dealers, local artists and makers, Luluz is a trove of garments, collectible dishes, furniture, and whimsical objects of all sorts. The ground floor display encompasses two rooms. I'm still dreaming of an original drawing circa 1890 of a bouquet of snapdragons and honeysuckle (are you still there?). Upstairs there's a spacious area dedicated to vintage clothing and there's a fun view of the main floor from the balcony. Go in and see everything from a nice collection of Frankoma dishes, to tiny original watercolors by Terry Bader of Tacoma (one of the first things to draw my eye). There's plenty to see, room to move, and it's all worth a visit just for the front windows decorated with paper hearts, many inscribed with love quotes from literary and historical figures. Preview the treasures at Luluz in the gallery below, then join the "junk tribe" - go visit!
Perhaps we'll meet on Antique Row one day, gazing at a shelf of fanciful salt and pepper shakers or pining over antique colored pencil drawings of beautiful bouquets. Wishing you luck whatever you're searching for.