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Old City Hall Antiques
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer
Published in the July 14, 2016 edition

The old city hall building in Coos Bay is now under renovation and in the care of Greg Nichols, the owner of Old City Hall Antiques, where his vision of an Art Deco themed antique mall will come alive.

I spoke with Greg Nichols, owner of Old City Hall Antiques, located at 375 Central Avenue in Coos Bay. Greg has moved here from Wheeler, Oregon (about 14 miles south of Cannon Beach), where he owns an antique store which was voted the number one historical shopping place on the Oregon Coast in Coastal Magazine. And he wants Shopper readers to know his building won’t house just another antique store!

 Boasting the largest collection of art deco in the United States, Greg’s store had people coming from all over the United States to see and buy from his collection. For those readers who are unfamiliar with art deco, it is a design movement which had its heyday during the time between the Great World Wars. Its design movement incorporated, but was not limited to, architecture, all things related to interior design, jewelry, apparel and transportation vehicles. And now it’s all here in Coos Bay.

I asked Greg why he chose to move to the bay area. “Well, Coos Bay is a larger city than Wheeler,” replied Greg, “and with the Egyptian Theatre restoration, the local museums, and the art deco design of the 1921 Old City Hall building, it just seemed a good fit. We’re in the process of painting everything, fixing leaks, working on the walls and ceilings, etc., and we’ll have four employees working here.”

But the most important thing Greg wants Shopper readers to know is that he’s looking for vendors to add their wares to his collection. “We’re going to open up the bottom floor of the building for vendor spaces,” said Greg. “In my Wheeler store, my vendors did a brisk business because customers came in to see my art deco items, and had to walk past the vendor booths to get to them. That’s what’s going to happen here: my museum-like art deco collection will be upstairs, and customers will first have to go through the vendor section to get there.”

 Greg described some of his inventory: “I have over 1000 lights and fixtures from all over the world; lots of high-end items from Chicago hotel lobbies…1930’s items from New York buildings…radio lamps, skyscraper lamps, bookends and statues, clocks, Czech crystal barware, original refurbished radios and record players, Bakelite flatware…I’ve had people from all over the world buy my art deco items.  Buyers come from Hollywood to add my pieces to their restaurants. Art deco items are from the only era in history going up in price because they go with pretty much everything. That’s why you don’t see them in antique stores:  people don’t want to sell them. They’re always a safe investment.”

“I’m not selling used cars here,” Greg continued. “When you say ‘antiques’ there’s often a pre-set judgement of what that means. This isn’t some dusty, smelly place filled with other people’s junk.  The inventory here is comprised of very high-end items that are great investments and beautiful to behold.”

So, vendors: it’s a first-come, first-serve process to get the best available booths in the Old City Hall Antiques! Greg is going to be running a ‘first month free’ promotion and his percentage of commissions will be highly competitive. Give him a call at 541-808-3838, where Old City Hall Antiques will be open from 10 am to 5 pm, seven days a week.

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