Posted By: Katherine Price
The Corner Store has been in business since 1971 and have impressively been on the corner of West Lake and Bryant Ave. in Uptown, Minneapolis since 1979. For hearing that they’ve been around for so long is mind-blowing, I mean what were they selling in the 70s, things from the 40s? People were essentially buying the things new from department stores that are now some of the shop’s unique, dated items. Someday the outfit you purchased new at Cliche might be worth big bucks and be a highly coveted vintage garment, you never know!
Walking into the shop is like time travel, I wouldn’t know exactly what year to put on but it feels whimsical and fun to be surrounded by items with so much history. Every detail adds to the feeling of an era long gone, wood-panel walls, classic lamp lighting and racks on racks of fabulous vintage clothing. The owners Pat and Linda Mchale, are true vintage enthusiasts, who have a passion for this business and they do an excellent job of maintaining a classy, high-end shopping experience for their costumers. There is nothing thrifty or second hand feeling about this shop, yes the items have been previously owned, loved and worn but the quality control is outstanding. You do not have to dig through heaps of garbage to find what you are looking for, everything is pristine, well-organized, plenty of room around the racks which greatly elevates the ease of shopping.
The different decorative items that they have collected to curate the shop with are priceless, like this old, hanging, Levi’s Riders sign is magnificent. All the different pieces and nuances add to the nastalgia and even got me a bit into character. I left the shop wanting to smoke out of one of those Holly Golightly cigarette holders, or lace up some riding boots, throw on a worn in leather jacket and find myself a handsome biker boy.
Something that I noticed and think is important to note because it sets Corner Store apart from other vintage shops that I frequent is the amount of men’s clothing they have. Most of the time the section for guy is tiny but at CS they have an abundant amount of stuff for men and boys to shop. And let’s be honest men’s fashion is having trouble improving upon the classic styles that were solidified during the 50s, 60s and 70s.
While I was chatting with owner Linda about the shops history and what has changed over the years she talked about how the landscape of sourcing vintage items for the shop has evolved. “Every little old lady is now selling stuff on eBay,” Linda explained, this makes it harder for the people who are working to fill vintage shops with quality products. Linda isn’t knocking the online outlets or independent sellers, CS does a lot of business online, she was simply commenting on the changing times. Ten, twenty years ago, Linda explained that there was a seemingly endless supply of amazing vintage goods, but the internet and sites like eBay made it easier for every person to do their own selling and bidding. I suggest that if you are at all overwhelmed by the process of selling things yourself online, bring them in to Corner Store. Linda said they buy things off of people at the shop all the time, they also find things at estate sales and flee markets. At this point if the item is in good quality they aren’t picky about where it came from.
The main room that you walk into off the street is huge, seemingly endless room for leather jackets, cat eye glasses and beaded dresses but there is another huge room that is not open to the public, but lucky me got a little peek. I’ll call this room Rock n’ Leather Heaven, it holds the best-of-the-best jackets and gives the feeling that you might have just stepped into the home of a famous rocker from the 70s or 80s, with all the guitars and killer decor – like a scene from a movie, or some kind of rock n’ roll jacket hall of fame.
I had an amazing time getting to know Linda a bit better and I am so glad that Corner Store Vintage is being featured in SOL’s October 27th fashion show at the Textile Center. The show is featuring other local shops, like b. a resale shop, The Gunball Collective and many others. You can get your tickets here and more details here. Also ‘join’ on the Facebook event page!
See you at the show, save the date – OCTOBER 27th at 4pm at the Textile Center