Retail Therapy: One antique store closes, another reopens

The Fresno BeeJanuary 11, 2014 

Fresno said goodbye to Fulton's Folly Antique Collective last week after 32 years.

The last day was Wednesday, and the store was bustling with customers stopping by to chat and shop for the last time at the dozens of booths that sold everything from Matchbox cars to that cookie jar that grandma used to have. But it may not be the last we'll see of Fulton's Folly.

Owner Joanne Peterman sold the building.

"I might do a new endeavor," she says. "I might do a small Fulton Folly's, or I might retire."

Several of the 35 vendors say they'll likely end up selling somewhere else.

The building's new owner, local businessman Troy Collins, doesn't know yet who he will rent the 9,300-square-foot building too, but says he wants something that fits the Tower District's arts and entertainment focus.

"I'm looking to land a tenant that's really going to enhance the Tower and maybe even anchor the Tower the way the Daily Planet did. It could be a restaurant-type venue. It could even be another theater."

But Fulton's Folly as we know it at 920 E. Olive Ave. is gone. The store for most of its existence was in that location, though it started in what is now the Babylon Club billiards hall and spent a short time on Blackstone Avenue.

The news of its closure hit some people hard and spurred conversations about time spent there and favorite items discovered.

"I used to go to Fulton's Folly with my grandmother," said Elizabeth Drioane, formerly of Fresno. "We would spend hours looking at every little thing."

Some people told me their grandmothers would identify many of the contraptions — often for the kitchen — that us younger folks didn't recognize.

Heather Parish of Fresno says she spent many relaxing afternoons browsing and buying with her "chap" at Fulton's Folly.

"He's purchased my last four birthday gifts there, too, including vintage beaded bags, vintage cigarette box and matching tabletop lighter, and indulging my obsession with vintage handkerchiefs and tablecloths," she says. "I hope something fun and fabulous fills that space soon!"

Clovis Antique Mall

The Clovis Antique Mall reopened last week 11 months after the neighboring store was destroyed in a fire in Old Town Clovis.

Country Rose Antiques & Accents had to be knocked down, but the owners of the Clovis Antique Mall, at 532 5th St., first thought their store had minimal smoke and water damage. They even talked about reopening the day after the fire, just days before their yearly Presidents Day sale.

But it didn't happen. It turned out the building needed about $300,000 worth of work. The crumbling west wall of the building, which is more than 100 years old, had to be replaced. Insurance also paid for owners Jacque Jones and Dan Davitian to replace the electrical system, carpet and floor tiles and upgrade bathrooms and counters to comply with the Americans With Disability Act.

The Clovis Antique Mall reopened Thursday with 80% of its original dealers.

"Everybody has been out buying," Jones said of the vendors. "There's going to be more treasures to be found."

Aside from the fresh paint and new carpet, the store looks pretty much the same. Its booths are stuffed with everything from antique cribs and rolling pins to vinyl records and beer steins.

The store has already picked up a few vendors from Fulton's Folly.

It will host an open house from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 23 to celebrate the store and thank people who helped it reopen. In the meantime they're handing out fliers for the Presidents Day sale Feb. 17. Says store manager Barbara Jones: "We're going to have our Presidents Day sale we didn't get to have last year."

Country Rose, meanwhile, is now a dirt lot surrounded by a chain-link fence. The owners plan to rebuild.

Marketplace at El Paseo

In case you missed it on the business page, there was an update of some new stores coming to town in the under-construction Marketplace at El Paseo shopping center on Herndon Avenue near Highway 99.

Newly announced are cosmetics store Ulta Beauty and Maurice's, a clothing store that is home to extra-short jeans and all kinds of other clothing. It's owned by the same company that owns Dressbarn and Justice clothing stores.

Also coming are Target, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, Ross, Old Navy, Famous Footwear, Anna's Linens, Petco, Tilly's, Sleep Number, McDonald's and Panda Express. Most will open in March.

 

The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyClough on Twitter. Read her blog on fresnobeehive.com.

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