This past week I visited one of the hidden gems of the local antiques market - Not Just Antiques Mart. Funnily enough, it was the "Not Just" that had kept me from popping in for so many years. Not Just Antiques Mart has been open since 2005 and I had driven past it many times when trying to avoid traffic on the I-15, but the exterior never tempted me to stop.
Not Just Antiques Mart occupies a rambling building on Western Avenue behind the Holsum Lofts. From the outside it looks like most Vegas buildings - modern, boxy, covered in stucco - boring. When I pulled in the other day for the first time I sat considering the facade while I finished my Coke and sandwich. I really wasn't expecting much and was still fixated on the "Not Just" part of the name and debating whether I should bother to get out of my warm car into the gray drizzle of the afternoon. Needless to say, however, curiosity won out and I decided to go in.
step!" Thank God she did. I am the Jacques Clousseau of bric-a-brac hunters.
I think the photographs speak for themselves but from the moment I stepped down over that treacherous stair I was completely drawn in. Not Just Antiques Mart is a bit like a trip through C.S. Lewis's magical wardrobe. Looking at the exterior you would never imagine that a labyrinth of literally thousands of collectibles and curiosities awaits. The interior is spread out over 12,000 square feet and two and a half floors. There are rooms and hallways and more rooms and staircases that lead to yet more rooms and spaces, and everywhere there is something to see. The place is enormous and the variety is staggering.
I was also impressed by the number of collectibles that tend to interest a more masculine audience. Let's face it, a lot of men find the idea of visiting antique shops as interesting as visiting the dentist. Not Just Antiques Mart is more than just 12,000 square feet of porcelain gals done up in 18th-century costume; I was pleased to see an equal number of tobacciana, beer and advertising collectibles, magazines, books, toys and other things that appeal to guys who generally think they won't find anything of interest in an antique shop.
Not Just Antiques Mart is located at 1422 Western Avenue. It is very handy to the highway and Downtown. Don't let anyone lead you to believe that this is a "bad" area of town. True it is not shiny and new and the area is in transition at the moment, but it is perfectly safe and the store offers ample parking right up front. The building houses a number of dealers but is predominantly filled with consignment items so the stock changes frequently. Not Just Antiques Mart also offers appraisals, estate liquidation and has a "Sell it on eBay" program. For more information you can visit their website at www.notjustantiquesmart.com.