Olde Good Things Now Selling Old Good Things on Bowery

Photos: Fatima Malik

Last week, Billy Leroy told The Local that his antiques shop might reopen on a side street, away from “yuppies asking stupid questions.”

Around the corner from where his tent once stood, Olde Good Things is now courting that clientele. The shop has quietly started selling “architectural antiques” on the Bowery.

Bob Johnston, one of its owners, knows his average shopper isn’t the punk rocker of yore. “It’s a very upscale, conservative crowd here, surprisingly, that I found, for the Lower East Side, it’s changed quite a bit,” he told The Local. “It’s not so much the bohemian style of yesteryear. It’s lost a lot of the grit. We can still bring some grit here but we’re trying not to do that.”

IMG_9940Fatima Malik

Olde Good Things already has outlets in Chelsea, Union Square and the Upper West Side. The company also owns and operates two stores in Los Angeles. Mr. Johnston opened this store – actually, it’s still only “half open,” with limited hours – because the East Village is a “happening place,” he said. Three weeks shy of the opening, a few pieces have already been sold.

The self-described “architecturologists” rent and sell salvaged products to clothing stores, restaurants, and movie and television shoots, and ship as far away as South Korea, Japan, Europe and South America. They also create new items out of discarded pieces. “We try to give it function again,” said Mr. Johnston about a typical “altered antique.”

Behind the counter stands a stained glass door acquired from Argentina. Mirrors are fashioned from pieces of scrap metal from buildings around town; one table was created from a loading cart from a factory in North Carolina, with legs shaped from discarded metal from another industrial unit in Rhode Island.

The store owners see themselves as part of a long tradition of antique shops on the Bowery, while fitting into a neighborhood increasingly occupied by young professionals – or “the up-and-coming crowd,” as Mr. Johnston describes it. “Generation Y is the generation down here.”

Old Goode Things is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. 302 Bowery, between East First and Houston Streets.