The West Bottoms, an industrial area immediately to the west of downtown Kansas City (MO), is rapidly becoming a prime destination for bargain hunters searching for one-of-a-kind knick-knacks and trinkets. This is largely due to the ‘First Friday Festival’ weekends, when antique sellers open their shop doors for the masses once a month and celebrate with gusto antique, vintage and second hand finds.
The warehouses in the West Bottoms were built more than 100 years ago for agricultural, freight and industrial purposes. Today, the area is a mecca for shoppers and bargain hunters, crammed full of one-of-a-kind, antique and vintage merchandise. Some stores open on other weekends, or by appointment, while eclectic contemporary art galleries in the district show their works daily. However, most only open to join the First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms and join in the party that includes food trucks and live music too.
The First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms are certainly the place to go in search of all things antique and vintage. The keenest shoppers arrive as soon as stores open on Friday evenings, and are guaranteed to find treasure. There are so many stores and stands displaying their amazing goods over these weekends, we have selected just a few here to highlight to make navigation of this festival a little easier.
Probably the mots promising antique shop in West Bottoms, Bella Patina (1320 W 12th St) has three floors of fabulous antique items, retro goods, mid-century modern pieces, the shabby-chic and a whole lot more, including a restaurant on the top floor for immediate refreshments on site. It is a huge store, bursting with things longing to taken home, and the price range is more than reasonable.
Located one block away from Bella Patina, Bottoms Up Antique Market (1300 W 13th St) is another area within the First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms housing many professional dealers under one roof, ready to answer any questions from customers and share their knowledge about their goods. It is located in the historic Stowe Hardware Building, a perfect location for these excellent old finds.
Opposite to Bottoms Up Antique Market, Good Ju Ju (1420 W 13th Ter.) has built a strong reputation for itself. Voted Kansas City’s Best Antique and Vintage Store three different times, Good Ju Ju has also been acknowledged one of the “Best Antique Stores Coast to Coast” by Flea Market Style magazine. This multi-level store is the place to find one-of-a-kind pieces, re-purposed furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, primitives, folk art, Mid-Century Modern items along with a whimsical mix of fun, funky, retro, old and new.
Another show stopping antique merchant is Serendipity (13th and Hickory). The owners of this store have been in the antiques business for more than 40 years, so definitely know what they are talking about when it comes to second hand goods and the items they have curated for sale in their store. They were among the very first to set up shop in the West Bottoms for this now well established antiques and market festival, so they are great to chat to for all kinds of information and stories.
A trip to First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms would not be complete without a stop at The Dusted Attic (Hickory St), a small flea market nestled within West Bottoms. Over 40 vendors are featured in this store, collecting and selling vintage, antique, modern, mid-century modern, and any other style of furniture, art, photography and collectibles. It is a treasure chest of unique items and should not be missed.
The sheer amount of antique and vintage stores at First Friday Festival Weekends at West Bottoms is outstanding. Not only is West Bottoms home to a plethora of second hand merchants, but also to independent fashion retailers, cafés, food trucks, art galleries and restaurants. Attracting locals and tourists, this destination should be on the to-do list of all antique enthusiasts traveling to Kansas City.
Antiquing Tip Of The Day
Buy if you love it, and buy when you see it. If you truly love a piece, be willing to give up something else to pay for it, move something else to find a spot for it, or decorate differently to make the color work.
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