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Drug Store, Vintage Décor & More

Vibrant Vintage

There's something meditative about spending a rainy afternoon browsing through a vintage shop. I often catch myself staring at an old coffee cup or faded photograph for five or ten minutes, lost in the recollection of some childhood visit to my grandmother's house or imagining what life was like for whoever owned the artifact before.

With our first serious rains, I found myself perusing The Drug Store, a vintage shop found at the corner of Precita Ave. and Mission St. where Bernal Heights and the Mission meet.

It's the original drugstore sign that still stands over the corner entrance that first caught my eye. The vibrant vintage items pulled me in, but it was the warm welcome I received by the owner, Lynnore Goldfarb, and her enthusiasm for her shop and customers that kept me there.

Since its opening four years ago, The Drug Store has specialized in mid-century modern, which includes items from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Also, all of the home decor, collectibles, clothing, and more that make up the inventory of the store must be at least 25 years old. Lynnore says if it's orange or black, shiny or chrome, they have it. After she mentioned this, I didn't have to look far to observe the orange and black speakers hanging from the ceiling, an orange wall near the back, or a set of black wrought iron chairs ($375.00).

Before Lynnore began selling vintage items full-time, she worked as a freelance development director for non-profits. Finding herself with time off between jobs, Lynnore would travel throughout the state and beyond, looking for vintage items at antique and thrift stores, estate sales, and anywhere else a treasure could be found. Returning home with these finds, Lynnore worked with other local stores, like San Francisco's Den, to resell her finds. Later, Lynnore joined the collective of dealers at The Drug Store, where she made the plunge into selling vintage pieces full-time. Six months later, Lynnore transitioned from dealer to owner. Currently, there are approximately five full-time dealers in the shop including Lynnore.

You don't have to be an expert in antiques, or even know what "mid-century modern" means to shop here. The stock in the store is stylish, eclectic, fun, and affordable--something you won't always find in a lot of vintage stores. It's easy to pick up a colorful item to punctuate your home decor, especially if you are on a tight budget. And you won't feel claustrophobic or worried that you'll knock over the delicate displays. It's easy to navigate throughout the well-spaced pieces.

During my visit, household furnishings and accessories I found included a bamboo and glass table for $155.00, a doggie tea towel for $12.50, two sunburst orange, brown and yellow napkins for $9.50, and a ceramic monkey plate with Chinese characters for $7.50. If you have a taste for retro dinnerware, they have a mushroom tray for $22.50 and matching plates for $12.50.

Over in a back corner, you'll find men's and women's vintage clothes and accessories, including women's shimmering gold shoes for $22.00, a turquoise, green and lavender "Pucci-esque" hat for $28.00 and a light blue, green, and yellow plaid men's shirt for $28.00. If you are crafty, you can select from one of the old sewing patterns for $6.00 to create your own retro wear.

If you grew up in the 60s or 70s, you can relive some of your childhood with vintage board games, such as Cootie for $30.00, or the 3-D stacking game Score Four for $33.00.

Situated in the back of the store is a surprise: a small white space set up as a gallery for emerging artists, mostly from the local area. You can find an affordable work of art to fill the blank space over the vintage couch you just acquired.

Over a year ago, Lynnore sent out an email calling for artists, and received an overwhelming response from over 400 people. She whittled the list down to fill a schedule which changes once every five weeks, and the shows are still booked throughout the next year.

Currently the gallery features the work of de la Mamacita Anita. The work is varied, running from amusing to political, and includes prints, paintings and collages. It's all very affordable, too. It's possible to walk away with a piece of original art for as little as $30.00.

Don't overlook the new/old items, such as the journals with covers made from old books, with titles perfect for recording your innermost thoughts such as Who's Listening, or if you need a place to record your travels, Modern Continental Dramas, running from $15.00-$17.00. The Drug Store will be carrying more of these kinds of recycled items in the new year.

If you find a present for someone here, you can put them in one of the gift bags that The Drug Store carries, starting at $1.50 for solid colors, to $3.50 for ones with pineapple print.