Unique Thrift Store

Like a college athlete who signs with an agent while still in school, a thrift store that harbors an automatic teller on its premises loses its eligibility; sure, it may still be a great player, but the presence of said electronic money changer signals an irredeemable loss of secondhand innocence that screams, "We kick it like the big boys." What's next, a food court tucked between the used furniture and the vintage ties? Please. So with a knowing nod to last year's winner, Unique Thrift Store in Columbia Heights (hey, we still love ya!), we direct this year's thrift attention to a more unassuming place of used-repute. In a basement-level storefront below the Coffee Grounds café lies a thrift shopper's labyrinthine paradise. Looking for a pair of white cowboy boots in mint condition? A Tide racing-team jacket for the NASCAR enthusiast in your clan? How about a navy-and-gold U.S. Naval Academy robe? Prices are reasonable, the selection is large--and, more crucial, it changes frequently. Chances are you'll be greeted by J.T. himself, a hearty, black-bearded man with a mischievous smile and a gregarious manner that makes you feel right at home in his funky, subterranean lair. Open Tuesday through Friday from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. But remember: If you plan to pay cash, bring it with you.


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