The ‘Antiquing’ of Antique Stores and Malls — From Ocean Beach, Normal Heights to North County

by on July 7, 2023 · 12 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Thomas Arnold / San Diego Reader / June 28, 2023

Antique stores and malls are fast becoming antiques themselves.

In April 2018, the huge 18,000-square-foot Ocean Beach Antique Mall, located on Newport Avenue just west of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, closed down for good, to be replaced by a Target Express.

More than 100 vendors were displaced. A petition to boycott the incoming Target drew some 1500 signatures; the Ocean Beach Town Council approved a resolution blasting the Target store’s opening as “disregarding the clear and expressed will of the community.” It happened anyway.

The famed “Antique Row” along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, which at its peak numbered 25 stores — and gave the stalwart Antique Row Cafe its name — is down to just one. Dave McPheeters, who has operated the surviving Zac’s Attic for 16 years, says the only reason he’s been able to stay in business is because he owns the building.

The Solana Beach Antique Mall, a fixture on Cedros Avenue for 35 years, shut its doors for good in March 2017. Housed in a cavernous former roller rink, the mall — home to about 100 vendors — had once been a favorite of Hollywood celebrities such as Jack Klugman and Tom Conway, who’d stop by during the Del Mar horse-racing season.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris July 7, 2023 at 1:56 pm

Antiques are the new antiques.


Chris July 7, 2023 at 1:59 pm

Tho TBH, most OB residents i currently know (which is not to say most OB residents) are happy about the Target being there.


Christo K July 7, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Exactly. I would wander through the Antique Mall maybe twice a year and don’t think I ever bought anything. I have been in the Target 3 times this week so far.


Vern July 7, 2023 at 8:34 pm

…” most OB residents i currently know (which is not to say most OB residents)…”


Chris July 8, 2023 at 10:32 am

You know how to quote.


Lyle July 8, 2023 at 7:51 am

I was personally bummed when the Antique Mall replaced the Coronet. I was slightly bummed that I never got to see it as a Woolworth’s. Being a local-serving Target is way closer to the original purpose than being a tourist-serving antique emporium.


Chris July 8, 2023 at 10:38 am

Interesting point. I never thought about what that space was before it became an antique mall. Now that it is a Target I never understood why so many protested it.


fish July 16, 2023 at 11:07 pm

I agree. When I was a kid I’d go there all the time. I never once went to the antique mall. I all so love the little Targetlet, or I did. I used to go there all the time…so convenient. Now I have stopped shopping there. Target corporate is caved to right wing homophobia. I loved it when June rolled around and it was a blast of color and pride. I was so happy and seen. This year nothing. They caved to the right wing extremists. So sad.


Chris July 17, 2023 at 3:41 pm

Interesting. The right wingers claim they’ve gone left wing extremest woke. Truth is, they’re a retail business that isn’t sure what they should do to stay afloat. I’ll continue to shop there because they’re in a no win situation.


Chris July 17, 2023 at 3:45 pm

Unlike Chick-fil-A, they are not supporters of homophobia, they just don’t want to wind up in the same predicament as Bud Light.


lyle July 8, 2023 at 7:58 am

I was also bummed when an antique store replaced the Rexall. It was a dark time for OB, dominated be grumpy old antique dealers.


lyle July 9, 2023 at 8:17 am

Of course, Rexall, Coronet and Woolworths were all national chains, so there was probably some limited cheering when they left.


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