Recent years have been unkind to the antique business. Today’s new homeowners are no longer interested in the stemware, bric-a-brac, framed oils and other nostalgic items that enticed earlier generations—or so say many of the Shore antique merchants we visited for this survey. But that’s good news for anyone looking to grab household collectibles at reasonable prices‚ including newly desirable items like vinyl LPs.
Browsing at any of the shops featured here can be a rewarding way to spend an overcast day at the Shore—or to get out of the sun for a few hours of browsing. The shops tend to be clustered in certain towns—Point Pleasant Beach, for example—so you can easily make the rounds to several worthwhile destinations. And remember, prices are always negotiable—which is half the fun. (Pricing and specific items cited here are based on visits over several months; there’s no guarantee these items will still be available.)
413 Allen Avenue · Allenhurst
Chris Myer describes his business—located in an old plumbing-supply shop—as “not stuffy.” He’d be justified in simply calling it fun. Goodies like LPs, movie posters, toys and pop-culture items line the maze-like aisles. Myer’s forte is art; he features a collection of paintings of all styles in the $100-$4,000 range. The 14,000-square-foot center also features vintage clothing curated by Laurie Smith, a vendor from nearby Loch Arbour. Fun find: several shelves of colorful cast-iron doorstops, including dogs, horses and flower baskets, many by Hubley, and most priced upwards of $100. Open daily, 11-5.
13 W Front Street · Keyport
The largest of Keyport’s several antique shops, this establishment is crammed with a wild array of items from 17 dealers stuffed into narrow aisles and cluttered nooks. It’s a good place to hunt for vinyl LPs, vintage clothing, guitars, camera lenses, household items and more. Walk to the rear for larger pieces of furniture. Fun find: a 42-by-30-inch framed print of an enlarged Eiffel Tower postcard ($45). Open Tuesday-Thursday, 11-5; Friday-Saturday, 11-6; Sunday, 11-4.
27 Monmouth Street · Red Bank
Friendly and conspicuously uncluttered—you might even call it elegant—this downtown shop is an essential stop on any Red Bank shopping crawl. The tidy displays feature vintage clothing, jewelry, household items and furnishings from about 15 dealers. Don’t miss the collection of steamer trunks meticulously restored by area artisan James Rinaldi, starting at about $175. Fun find: a working 1946 Underwood typewriter ($75). Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30-5:30; Sunday, noon-5.
608 Arnold Avenue · Point Pleasant Beach
Housed in an old Woolworth’s, this downtown landmark is not to be missed. Point Pavilion offers a huge variety of goods from 50-60 dealers on two floors. In addition to the expected housewares and bric-a-brac, you’ll find an abundance of antique clothing, Lionel trains and vinyl LPs. Fun find: a colorul pair of Yellow Submarine high-top sneaks by Vans off the Wall ($135). Open daily, 10-6.
195 W Front Street; 226 W Front Street · Red Bank
Although reduced from three buildings to two, this Red Bank destination—with a combined total of more than 100 vendors—remains a mind-boggling experience for even the most dedicated browsers. Building III can feel cramped and cluttered, but is worth exploring for finds like a mid-century modern bar with orange Formica top ($400). Building II is more spacious and easier to navigate, and plays host to repair specialists, including jewelry expert Jimmy Boccan (Wednesday-Saturday) and toy maven Michael Geary (Friday only). Open Monday-Saturday, 11-5; Sunday, noon-5.
646 Cookman Avenue · Asbury Park
As might be expected, this large downtown shop has a hipster bent, with plenty of antique clothing, costume jewelry and vinyl LPs. Located on Asbury Park’s main shopping and dining street (just across from Madame Marie’s Temple of Knowledge), the emporium is a must visit on any day trip to this liveliest of Shore destinations. Here, the people watching can be as entertaining as the browsing. Fun find: a 1961 Alfred E. Newman weathervane (metal with wooden base, $475), displayed with other Mad magazine memorabilia. Open Monday-Saturday, 11-5; Sunday, noon-5.
742 Seashore Road · Cape May
“We think of ourselves as an old-school antique shop,” says Toni Victor, one of four dealers represented in this rambling, two-story clapboard house, itself a survivor from the late 19th century. In this case, “old school” means carefully curated collections of vintage housewares, framed prints and furnishings, attractively displayed in two floors of themed rooms. Among the other dealers is Margate resident Larry Frankel, whose salvaged and restored stained-glass pieces (many in their original frames) sell for $60 and up. Open daily, 10-4 (in season).
150 S. New York Road · Galloway
This massive shopping experience—21,000 square feet, 65 vendors—can be tacked onto any visit to Historic Smithville, just to the south. There’s an endless selection of housewares, furniture, art pieces, clocks and jewelry. A pair of luminous Arthur Wood Staffordshire dogs in white and cobalt blue was reasonably priced at $189. Fun finds: a vintage milk bottle from Honeker’s Dairy in North Bergen ($29.95) and a 1964 Garden State Tercentenary decanter ($29). Open daily, 10-6.
622 Trenton Avenue · Point Pleasant Beach
Spacious and easy to navigate, the 10,000-square-foot emporium packs in plenty of merchandise from more than 40 dealers, including several displays of baseball collectibles. There’s more to choose from on the upstairs balcony, including a selection of large American flags starting at $59. Fun find: a chrome-like, Art-Deco cocktail shaker with five stemmed, ruby-red glasses ($45). Open daily, 11-5.
36 W Front Street · Keyport
Collections from about 20 dealers fill two storefronts at this inviting, 5,000-square-foot emporium in Keyport’s informal antique district, just one block from the town’s Raritan Bay waterfront pier. You’ll find lots of vintage clothing, jewelry, household goods and new gift items here, plus an abundance of metal toys. Most fascinating is the case of antique military items, including bayonets, helmets, canteens and mess kits from the two world wars. Fun find: a circa-1870 leather U.S. Army pouch and doeskin gloves ($200). Open Tuesday-Thursday, noon-5; Friday-Saturday, noon-6; Sunday, noon-5.
614 Trenton Avenue · Point Pleasant Beach
Immediately next door to Point Pleasant Antique Emporium, Canvas House is notable for its large collection of rustic and farmhouse country furniture, much of it restored and all of it meticulously displayed. You’ll find a variety of benches, storage chests, tables and pie safes. Among the more unusual objects: a well-worn, Windsor-style child’s high chair ($420) and a heavy-planked, 6-foot-long folding table ($565). There’s more upstairs, including a display of newly refabricated barnwood farm tables from Country Cupboards (starting around $498). Open daily, 11-5.
202 W 28th Street · Ship Bottom (LBI)
Owner Helen Matlaga admits it’s “hard to part” with the vintage items she has spent more than two decades accumulating. But here they are, lovingly displayed in her charming little LBI shop. Children’s sand pails from the 1920s to the 1970s are a specialty; at any time, Matlaga offers about 60 in the shop, ranging from $30 to $500. “They’re pricey little devils,” she acknowledges. Matlaga also favors nautical items, including duck decoys, lanterns and large wooden ship wheels (starting at $425). Fun find: a collection of kid-sized vintage cowboy boots starting at $45. Be advised: The pint-sized 1959 Fiat 500 that sits serenely outside the shop is not for sale; the rolling antique serves as Matlaga’s summertime transportation around the island. Open Friday, 12-6; Saturday-Sunday, 10-6.
1228 Route 109 · Cape May
Located across from the popular Lobster House restaurant on the main route into Cape May, this sprawling, 6,000-square-foot building boasts 70 dealers and reasonable prices. There’s plenty to pick from, including household goods, old tools, LPs, military items, Lionel trains and lots of jewelry. Fun find: A vintage Newark Airport pennant ($28) and a Good Housekeeping-approved ceramic water pitcher from the erstwhile Paden City Pottery of West Virginia ($31). Open Monday-Friday, 11-5; Saturday, 10-5; Sunday, 11-4.Click here to leave a comment