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BEST PAWNSHOP Minneapolis 2001 - Hy's Pawn and Jewelry

Hy's is the Dayton's of pawnshops. Despite its classic pawnshop location (across the street from the Salvation Army's Harbor Light shelter), the place is almost quaint: There're no cracked windows, burned-out neon signs, or graffiti-clad walls. In the past year the store has doubled in size. Snappy blue awnings have been installed, the exterior has been redone in stucco, and a second entrance has been added. Inside, the shelves are stocked as carefully as a department store's. "We're trying to change the industry, and the image of it," says Hy's president Michael Strauss. The bulk of the selection is standard pawnshop fare: guitars lined up on one wall, jewelry tucked safely into glass cases, electronics displayed in their own special room. But there are a few exotic finds to be had as well. Ever long for a Pachinko machine, the bizarre Japanese equivalent of pinball? Hy's is your place.

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