“It’s ok to be a nerd.” New comic book and collectibles store opens in Fresno
An eclectic collection of new stores have opened around Fresno in recent months.
They include heavy hitters like a new H&M clothing store and the chain store that replaced Fresno favorite Herb Bauer Sporting Goods. Several new mom-and-pops are carrying everything from plus-size clothing to the popular Funko Pops vinyl toys. Plus, a smattering of other stores have moved and expanded.
Here’s a look at what’s new in town:
Pop Stop Collectibles
At the southeast corner of Bullard and West avenues, Pop Stop Collectibles is a like a pop culture buffet.
The merchandise ranges from the modern to the nostalgic. That means there’s an action figure of Deadpool in boxers with hearts on them and also a Barbie version of Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” complete with her green suit and attacking birds.
The store sells collectible Funko Pops, those little vinyl figures with big heads that come in just about every character you can imagine, from Freddy Krueger to Snow White. All the other Disney princesses are available, along with characters from the Minecraft video game and action heroes.
“They’re the Beanie Babies of our time,” said co-owner Bruce Alan.
It’s a comic book shop too, with new comics released on Wednesdays. They also range from the traditional superheroes like Captain America to ones aimed at younger kids like Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories with Donald Duck on the cover.
The store buys, sells and trade comics.
Pop Stop also carries action figures and memorabilia signed by actors and athletes.
Details: 1731 W. Bullard Ave., 559-375-1932.
Turner’s is a chain of 22 stores based Southern California that specializes in hunting, fishing and shooting. The store hired several of Herb Bauer’s employees in hunting and fishing departments.
The store has a huge selection of fishing rods, reels and lures. It also buys, sells and trades firearms, including buying gun collections.
And it has every accessory for hunting and shooting you can think of, including targets and gun safes. A clothing section includes tactical wear with plenty of pockets, camouflage, and T-shirts from Nine Line, a veteran-owned and operated company.
Details: 6264 N Blackstone Ave., 559-214-1200.
Side note: The Herb Bauer name is not dead in Fresno. It’s still alive with Herb Bauer Cycling, a bike shop in the same center as the former Herb Bauer Sporting Goods.
The owner of the the bike shop, Jacob Cisneros, worked in the former store’s bike department and decided to keep it running as a store, with the family’s blessing to continue to use the name.
The 1,700-square-foot store sells bikes and parts and accessories, along with doing repairs. It specializes in youth, BMX and mountain bikes.
Details: 6232 N. Blackstone Ave., 559-287-1510.
This little house in the Tower District has been transformed into a shop selling vintage and upcycled goods. The shop on Olive Avenue near Palm Avenue is stuffed with painted furniture and vintage decor like mirrors, dishes and embellished cake stands.
New goods are for sale at Forever Vintage too, including aprons made for women who aren’t “skinny minis” and mugs that say things like “bridesmaid” and “smile”.
Ten vendors are selling their items.
The three-bedroom bungalow is zoned for commercial and residential and most recently was home to a family, and before that, a medical marijuana business.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Details: 334 E. Olive Ave., on Facebook at Forever Vintage.
H&M clothing store’s second location in Fresno has opened, this one at Fashion Fair mall. The supremely popular store is between JCPenney and the mall’s main entrance, with its own exit to the parking lot.
The store is known for its low-priced, fresh-off-the-runway clothing. Fresno’s first H&M opened at River Park in 2014.
The Fashion Fair store carries clothing for women, including underwear (for example, you can get a thong with “Bieber” on the waistband, presumably a reference to singer Justin). The store also carries men’s clothing and the H&M kids collection with clothing for newborn babies to 14 years old.
Details: 559 E. Shaw Ave., 559-224-1592.
Big Sexy Boutique
The outdoor portion of Fashion Fair is home to a new, locally owned plus-size shop.
She describes the clothing as modern and different than what shoppers usually find at stores carrying plus sizes.
“We try to bring in a little more sexy than what you normally see,” she said. “I’ve been there, so I know exactly what they’re looking for.”
The Fresno store carries a little bit of everything, including cocktail dresses, plaid flannel tops, camouflage tube tops and jeans. The store also carries bras, underwear and shoes, including wide-calf boots.
The new space is about double the size of the shop it had previously. That’s allowing it to bring in more merchandise like dresses and tunics.
The store still carries colorful baskets that are popular with shoppers and kids items, along with scarves and locally roasted coffee.
The store has two paid managers but also uses volunteer workers and is expecting to need more volunteers as the store gets busier. Tagua is technically a pop-up store, with a lease through February and a “very fair arrangement” for rent.
Ooh La La, the locally owned clothing store, has left River Park and moved across the street. At 7973 N. Blackstone Ave., it’s near California Pizza Kitchen.
The store has stocked its fall clothing, with plenty of ponchos, plaid dresses and cardigans.
Palm-Olive Vintage & Antiques has expanded. The store, which opened in March, has taken over the entire building and brought in new vendors.