I like antique malls. My parents and grandparents took me to these places all the time when I was a kid. I don’t usually buy anything, but it’s fun to browse. (It’s a good thing antique malls are pricey because I probably would buy lots of stuff if it was less expensive!)
One of the best places to shop in Arlington — or at least browse — may be the Cooper Street Antique Mall. I like store names that tell you exactly what it is — and this is an antique mall on Cooper Street. My wife and I have strolled this place many times. It’s huge and takes a couple of hours to see everything. At 53,000 square feet, it’s the largest antique mall in Arlington. Wear your most comfortable sneakers when exploring this one.
The antique mall shares a parking lot with Wal-Mart and a vacant department store. (The antique mall used to be a western apparel store, which helps explain the location.) The location isn’t stellar, but the goodies inside surely are. The mall features several aisles and over 200 different booths. As with most antique malls, many booths have a theme, while others are a little bit of everything. It’s a mixture of kitschy, collectible, vintage, and retro.
On a recent trip. we came across:
- Tins, signs, advertising collectibles
- Toys, comics, pop culture memorabilia
- Sports memorabilia
- Figurines, statuettes, knick-knacks
- Glassware, bottles, teacups, kitchen items
- Books, records — also CDs and cassettes
- Coins, jewelry — costume jewelry and authentic pieces
- Linens, quilts, clothes, furniture
Yes, fairly standard stuff for an antique mall. But there are always treasures to be found.
Highlights for me included:
- Dallas Stars memorabilia
- Shiner Bock neon beer sign
- Giant Bailey’s mug
- Barbershop chair for kids that looked like a turtle
My favorite thing, though, was these post office boxes. (They may also be known as post office cabinets; I’m not sure.) I believe that these would have been inside a post office or maybe even an apartment building. Each one locks, and you open it with the combination to get your mail. I have a single one of these at home. It’s a bank. My parents gave it to me for Christmas like 30 years ago.
Speaking of banks…
It’s always fun — and sometimes jarring — when you come across an entire booth filled with one thing. It was likely someone’s collection — or even obsession — that probably took years to put together. The person either had to downsize for whatever reason or is no longer with us. We came across one booth filled with piggy banks. There were so many that I couldn’t count them!
I’ll take an antique mall over a shopping mall any day. Cooper Street Antique Mall is a fun place to shop in South Arlington — and I’m not too fond of shopping. I mentioned it in a previous blog post, 12 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Arlington, as a place to find gifts for people who have everything.
I believe the people at Cooper Street also own the Montgomery Street Antique Mall in Fort Worth. I like that one a tad better because it’s in a fantastic old building. Both are fun ways to spend a couple of hours indoors, especially when the North Texas summer heat arrives. You never know what you might find.
Cooper Street Antique Mall
4905 S. Cooper Street
Arlington, TX 76017
Post and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 04-27-21