Loan office. What is it about that phrase that seems so damn funny when used in conjunction with a pawnshop? Perhaps it's just the contrast. The staid and drab connotation of the words loan office versus the been-on-a-bender/behind-on-the-rent connotation of pawn. Hy's, fittingly enough, has the vibe of both. A downtown-Minneapolis institution since the roaring Twenties, it sits across the street from the Salvation Army's Harbor Light homeless shelter, and some rough-looking characters can be found ambling in and out. But Hy's is also a clean, well lighted shop, with a wide variety of merchandise that should appeal to most tastes and budgets. Whether you are into diamonds or gold jewelry, quality electronics or porn videos, beater guitars or Garth Brooks CDs, you can probably satisfy your shopping jones at Hy's. Interested in enormous, stuffed leather zebra replicas imported from China? Yeah, they've got those too. The service at Hy's is the store's chief strength. It's not uncommon to see six or seven employees working the counter, and we have found them to be polite and considerate.


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