Area Shops Offer Unique Experiences
By Mary Heyl
Western New York is known for its variety of antique shops, and there are plenty in the Ellicottville area to keep shoppers busy for the next several weekends. Although each shop offers a variety of antiques and collectibles, there is something unique about each shop that sets it apart from the rest.
For an experience that is part nostalgia, part novelty and part delicious, shoppers must visit Tom and Laura McLeod’s Ellicottville Country Store & Antiques. Located just three miles east of the village at 5364 Route 242, Ellicottville Country Store & Antiques is housed in a building that is every bit as unique as the treasures within. This 150-year-old structure was originally built as a dry goods store and later served as the Ashford Junction Post Office until 1935. Indeed, the structure of the building is part of its charm: upon entering the store, visitors can look straight up and see the second story. This gallery-like mercantile features gift items on the first floor, while the second floor holds a dozen antiques booths from a variety of vendors.
The first floor boasts a wide selection of food and gift items, many of which are made locally, including handmade artisan jewelry, Pure Integrity soy candles, herbs and spices, candies and homemade soaps, which are made on the premises. For outdoorsy folks, there’s a large selection of Lodge cast iron cookware and cookbooks, as well as fishing tackle, birdfeeders and gardening supplies. There’s also a children’s toy section and a 30-foot train outside of the store that the youngest visitors will be eager to explore.
Upstairs, several booths of antiques and furniture await shoppers looking for that hard-to-find treasure. A Victorian settee, a 19th century Edison Victrola, and a large steamer trunk are just a few of the rare antiques on the store’s second floor. For the savvy antique shopper, McLeod’s store offers a constantly changing selection of antiques, as nothing stays in the store for long.
Attached to the shop is a cozy diner that has become a local favorite for both breakfast and lunch. Stuffed French toast, eggs Benedict, and “the omelette of the day” are always popular menu items, but none more so than the home fries, which are fondly known as the best in the Southern Tier! For lunch, diners can enjoy homemade soups, sandwiches, burgers and beef on weck, which must be followed up by McLeod’s homemade desserts; the dessert menu consisting of delectable delights such as lemon meringue pie changes weekly.
Ellicottville Country Store & Antiques is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am until 4 p.m., and the diner is open Thursdays through Sundays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact McLeod at the store at (716) 699-6100.
Once you’ve headed back into Ellicottville, continue south on Route 219 into Great Valley, where Antiques & Interiors sits just before the junction at Route 98. Owner Shirley Reinhardt welcomes shoppers to her 4,000 square-foot multi-dealer antique shop with its eclectic mix of furniture, vintage fashions and décor.
At first sight, visitors are likely to be dazzled by the astonishing variety of estate and costume jewelry, which occupy several glass cases at the front of the store. Just beyond these accessories lies the “disco room,” which is complete with sparkling disco balls that shine down on an array of vintage clothing from the 1940s to the 1980s. Funky sunglasses, vintage and designer handbags, stylish shoes and dozens of vintage hats invite shoppers to experience an era when no outfit was complete without a pillbox hat, gloves and fur coat.
Don’t be deceived by Antiques & Interiors’ vintage fashions, for there’s much more for the whole family to appreciate! Enter the “man cave,” where all things outdoorsy abound. Antique dealers specializing in authentic mounts have filled this room with all kinds of creatures including deer, fish, an impala, a wildebeest, a wild turkey, and even antelope from eastern Africa. Vintage fishing rods and reels, hunting knives, and snowshoes are just a few of the items that occupy the “man cave,” where you can also find an impressive collection of coins dating back to the 18th century.
Throughout the rest of the shop, visitors can find large pieces of furniture, such as writing desks, armoires, marble-topped tables and ornate dressers. Those looking for just the right light fixture will be delighted to find everything from hurricane lamps and crystal chandeliers to stained glass ceiling lamps.
Speaking of home décor, Reinhardt also operates her interior design business out of Antiques & Interiors. Whether one is looking to redecorate one room or the whole house, Reinhardt can customize the entire space and even creates beautiful window treatments. Reinhardt regularly designs homes and condominiums in Ellicottville, but her work has recently taken her as far as Florida.
Antiques & Interiors is open Thursday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment; call Reinhardt at (716) 945-6737 for more information.
A few miles south of Antiques & Interiors, Great Valley Antique Center is just off Route 219 at 4343 Whalen Road. Its distinctive green metal roof with “ANTIQUES” painted in white lettering makes it hard to miss this impressive building! For fifteen years, owner Sherry Glenn managed Green Gables Antiques and Creekside Emporium before deciding to buy and re-open the antique/co-op building in September 2013. Now known as Great Valley Antique Center, this two-story building has more than fifty vendors who fill their own booths with all kinds of unique treasures.
Downstairs, shoppers will find an enormous array of antiques and gift items. Toy collectors will enjoy selections of vintage Fisher-Price toys, pedal cars and dolls, while train collectors will be excited to see cases full of railroad signs and train sets near the front of the store.
Interested in recreating the retro style of Bewitched or Mad Men? Look no further than Great Valley Antique Center, where one can find console record players, classic 45 records and amber bar glasses that will help you party like it’s 1969! Also on the first floor, shoppers can find primitive and country décor items, including Radiance Lighted Canvas Art, painted wooden wall hangings, vintage-inspired metal signs, scented candles, and wreaths.
In the balcony-like second floor, shoppers can find all kinds of specialty items and antiques. “Yesterday’s Kitchen” features antique cast iron cookware, cookie cutters, rolling pins, milk carton holders, vintage coffee cans and kitchen canisters. Another section features antique tools, including farming tools. Sports collectors will be interested in the collection of vintage football, hockey and baseball jerseys. There’s also a year-round Christmas section, which includes cookie tins, ornaments, vintage tree stands, wall decorations and cookie cutters.
Great Valley Antique Center is open six days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit Great Valley Antique Center on Facebook or call Glenn at (716) 945-1900.
Next, head to I-86 and drive west to Exit 16, where the historic village of Randolph awaits you. Yarn for Ewe & Destination 129 Main, located at, well, 129 Main, are two businesses that occupy the same large building. At Yarn for Ewe, knitters and crocheters will find a large inventory of yarn, needles, patterns and notions. On the other side of the store, Destination 129 Main houses antiques and collectables in several different booths! Although there are some beautiful pieces of furniture, Destination 129 Main specializes in smaller items such as dolls, glassware, vintage baby clothes and books.
Vendors have recently brought in several new items to their booths that have never been featured at Destination 129 Main before. A working Texaco shop vacuum from the 1960s, a treadle New Victory sewing machine and a Stickley Cherry bed frame from 1927 are just a few of the unique items that have recently arrived.
Collectors of vintage clothing will be delighted to find dozens of baby dresses and layettes from the 1940s and 1950s arranged in a beautiful 1950s canopy-topped crib. Vendors also have vintage postcards from all over western New York including Buffalo, Chautauqua Lake, and Olean.
Although the retail yarn area of the store is separate from the antiques, naturally, there is some overlap between the two groups of merchandise. Vintage knitting and crochet patterns, issues of Workbasket and hand-knitted and crocheted baby sweaters are also part of Destination 129 Main’s unique inventory.
Yarn for Ewe & Destination 129 Main is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact owners Dianne Valvo or Mary Heyl at (716) 267-2070.
Whether you’re looking for just the right piece of furniture to complete a room, matching a vintage china pattern or looking for a unique gift, there is something for everyone to enjoy at these antique shops in the Ellicottville area. To learn more about antique shopping opportunities in Cattaraugus County, visit enchantedmountains.com for directions and details.