10/04/2019 at 1:41 am #68559
- Location: Oregon
Patti’s Home Plate Cafe, a long-time fixture in the St. John’s area of North Portland is shutting down in just a couple of weeks. My bf Charlie stopped in there, glanced around and called me to tell me we were going on a picking adventure and he brought me back. It’s half luncheon counter/soda shop and half 5-&-dime store and it’s packed to the brim and the owner Patti is just overwhelmed.
I chatted with her and she has to be out by the 21st and she has everything half off, but it’s not moving. She told me her chef had died the night before and her son was filling in taking care of the food customers. She tried a go at selling fabric and crafts, so there’s lots of bolts of fabric in one section as well as TONS of crafty items, some very vintage. There’s one whole corner of costumes because she tried a go at being a costume shop. There’s a rack of five buck wedding gowns. There’s one area of beauty items, heavy on the Avon. A lot of it is junk but there’s lots of vintage goodness too. Old fixtures, old racks. Boxes everywhere. I found a couple of vintage Christmas items and she says she has a whole room of it in the back she hasn’t even touched yet (which slayed me. Argh!)
My show set up starts on Tuesday. I am in complete show mode. If it were any other time, I’d volunteer to help her have an estate sale type event, with the caveat that I get paid by merchandise I’d scavenge along the way. I just don’t have the time. I feel really bad for her and her son. They are in a bad spot. We stuck around to get a milkshake and after she left we had a frank talk with her son. He’s very concerned because the weight of it falls on his shoulders too. I asked what would happen to all of the stuff and he said it would most likely end up in the landfill. Sounds like they wouldn’t even donate it, just throw it out. You can imagine how that made me feel.
I didn’t buy a lot because she’s not quite ready to face the reality of taking whatever she can take, just to get it gone. Her son did sell me over a dozen bolts of fabric after she left at a highly discounted price. I do think that as the date draws nearer, and if you develop a friendly relationship with her, it’s an amazing opportunity. We took the time to talk to both of them and were very sympathetic to their situation. I closed my own Brick & Mortar 2 years ago so I could relate a little to her dilemma. Closing a shop, especially one that’s been open a long time is very exhausting emotionally as well as physically. I’m hoping that someone might be able to help her through it, and be rewarded as well.
The last day the cafe is open to the public is October 15th. They have to be out by the 21st.2+
10/04/2019 at 9:39 am #68565
- Location: Virginia
Yeah, that’s tough when she has to sell a lifetime of stuff in just a couple weeks. Makes it tougher if she’s not willing to easily part with her stuff.
I know you have a store, but can you go back and try to make her a good deal before the 21st?0
10/04/2019 at 12:34 pm #68574
- Location: Oregon
Jay, I sure wish I could. The problem is time. We poked around for over an hour and only made it through about a third of the stuff. We couldn’t even get to the costume area because there was too much piled up in front and we didn’t want to overstep. There’s old glass front cases full of stuff. There’s old wood shelves behind the cases full of stuff. It’s a commitment to really dig in deep. Charlie found 3 old metal soda signs that he paid 3 bucks each for. The two vintage Xmas items I paid $3 for and will get at least $25 each on Ebay. I also bought an old wire laundry cart for five bucks that I will take to my show and ask $125. But she wanted $3 a yard for the fabric. I paid a dollar a bolt when the son took over. It’s a crazy good picking opportunity, especially if one could go in and just buy everything. But it would take time to box it and haul it and store it.
I load 2 26-ft trucks for the show on Tuesday, and after that I am over at the show from 9am to 8pm, every single day, until the 21st. And I have a long to-do list between now and Tuesday. It just isn’t possible. Trust me, it kills me that I can’t. This is an incredibly rare opportunity. I hope someone can go over and help her out.0
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