Shopping at Antiques on Monterey

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Antiques on Monterey

Proving Central Coast antiques age just as well as Central Coast wine

In the midst of rockhounds and beachcombers exists a unique breed of hunters with a keen eye for quality and beauty in “found” items—and they, along with their otherworldly antique items, reside in San Luis Obispo, at Antiques on Monterey.

“Recently, we sold a large, ornate barometer,” says Susan Dei, one of Antiques on Monterey’s resident worker-bees. “We’ve also sold a strange asparagus serving set, which I’d never even heard of before.” And there is more where these antiques came from.

Approaching its nine-year anniversary in January 2015, Antiques on Monterey first began with items curated by owner Barbara Evans – it now includes 10 antique dealers.

Novelty items, jewelry, & unique offerings

Displays include novelty items from the 1950s-1970s, such as a surgical kit complete with saws and hammers, as well as some stunning pieces of semi-precious, precious and costume jewelry. Currently, they even have an original fire extinguisher from the 1800s, still intact with the extinguishing liquid and in its glass case.

“We have some amazing grandfather clocks,” owner Barbara Evans chimes in. “We also have French art/deco furniture, beautiful China sets, and the county’s best costume jewelry variety.”

They also have some items they can’t quite identify. “We’re stumped,” said Patricia Johnson, another worker at the shop. “But we put them out anyways, because someone is sure to know what they are and want them.”

Antiques-on-MontereyAntiques & history

Antiques on Monterey is one of the longest-running antique shops in the area, making it a gem for both local and tourist collectors. After all, the store has almost a decade of treasure-curating under its belt.

The store, filled with pieces history, has a history of its own – the building used to be a video store. Barbara, an antiques dealer in other stores for years before finally getting the hankering to do it on her own, secured the old video store, spruced it up, and filled the place with locking cabinets before advertising for dealers.

“Many of our dealers have been here for quite some time,” said Barbara. “I’m fortunate to have several that have been with me since the very beginning.”

Deal Attic, layaway, & friendly service

Along with the huge collection of antiques—curated via locals who bring them in, or by Barbara’s combing through estate sales, yard sales and auctions—the store has a “Deal Attic” with items marked down up to 60 percent.
Open to visitors seven days per week, the store has a convenient parking lot (a rarity near downtown San Luis Obispo) and offers a layaway program for those gearing up for the holidays. So it’s no surprise the store gets between 30-40 visitors daily.

“Meeting people and finding objects is my favorite part about running the shop,” said Barbara. “We’ve had people from Europe, China, Japan, South America, and even a gal from England who stops in a couple of times per year to buy our vintage clothing.”

When asked what makes their store unique, Susan said, “We are the friendliest antique store. I’ve been to a lot of them, and I truly think we’re the nicest.”

“They were nice enough for me to come back,” pipes in a gentleman who is shopping during our interview. “I came here a few years ago and bought something, and I just had to come back again since I was in town. I love it here.”

Antiques on Monterey, located at 1599 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo, is open daily; Mondays, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Stop by to see Barbara, Susan and Patricia, or give them a call at (805) 783-1599.
– Sarah Graybill

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