While Rewind's northeast Minneapolis location has been a destination for retro lovers for five years, the area has otherwise been sparse in terms of vintage shopping. But the opening of not one, but two, vintage shops in the area--Fried Bologna (158 13th Ave. NE) and Northeast Vintage (1627 Washington St. NE)--aims to change that.
On a particularly hot day earlier this week, we set out for these new stores to see what they had to offer. Happily, the results were promising--each has a distinctive feel, from the merchandise to the atmosphere.
The first stop was Fried Bologna, a shopping spot two blocks north of the bustling intersection of 13th Avenue NE and NE University Avenue. Upon reaching the small storefront, one is greeted by posters of John Travolta and the New Kids on the Block and the store's signature Oscar Mayer-inspired signage. Inside, there's a similar retro kitsch, with 80's and 90's paraphernalia mingling with more traditional retro lamps, wall hangings of doe eyed children, and of course, plenty of 60's and 70's clothing for women, men, and children.
The store's largest offering is its massive selection of vintage t-shirts. According to Sara Kazee, who co-owns the store with her husband Ricky, Fried Bologna initially came about when Ricky discovered the world of vintage t-shirt 10 years ago. He stumbled upon them while searching for clothing for their then two-year-old son. He discovered the joys of vintage menswear and, years later, Fried Bologna was born.
The store, which celebrates its first anniversary this weekend, will commemorate the occasion the following weekend, on July 23-24. During this time there will be a store-wide 25-percent-off sale and free fried bologna sandwiches. It should be a perfect occasion for new shoppers to check out the location.
Battling a case of heat stroke, we made our way deeper into the Northeast to find the second shop, which had opened a month-and-a-half ago, named Northeast Vintage. Located in a storefront on an unassuming corner of Washington, the huge, patriotic-themed window (this was, after all, the day after our nation's birthday) and stark white lettering made the store hard to miss.
Inside, Northeast Vintage is a large open space that has been cleverly arranged and utilized by the shop's owner, Martine Lizama. A large, comfy couch provides seating outside of the dressing rooms, woven tapestries of southwestern scenes and JFK cover unsightly fixtures, and the stark white walls are decorated with pseudo religious paintings, photos of female bodybuilders from the '80s, and the occasional horned-bull skull.
While Fried Bologna's inventory was entirely retro (that is, if you consider the '90s retro, which kids these days do), Northeast Vintage's offerings included a mix of vintage and contemporary clothing and accessories. In addition to buying and selling housewares, knickknacks, art, and "anything weird," Lizama hopes to eventually carry a section featuring the knitted and screen-printed work of local designers. After the success of a show the shop hosted a few weeks ago featuring the local bands, Lizama also plans to host similar events monthly, which will coincide with store sales.