We’ve all had the experience of going to an antique store that feels exactly like your grandmother’s basement: stuffy, overcrowded, and requiring real fortitude to sort the gold from the garbage. Sorting through grandma’s basement may have its own appeal, but sometimes you simply don’t want to work hard, especially when participating in America’s top form of recreation: shopping.
Enter The Lincoln Highway Hub, an antique mall so meticulously curated and organized that you’re able to actually appreciate the huge variety of items it has to offer. Owners Sue and Tony Bazzo have been dealing antiques for nearly 30 years in various shows and antique shops. Their son and one of the Hub’s managers, Nicholas Bazzo, tells Pittsburgh City Paper that “one day they decided they wanted to open their own local mall, and the rest is history.”
The Hub features over 125 dealers, spread out over an 18,000-square-foot space. When it comes to the kinds of things you might find, the selection is so wide-ranging as to be unpredictable.
“Whether it's celebrity-signed memorabilia, pieces of local history, props from famous Pittsburgh films, or a band of taxidermied frogs playing instruments, we never really know just what is going to come across the counter,” Bazzo says.
If you’ve never shopped for antiques before, he has a few words of advice: “Do your research! Knowledge is often just as valuable as the items we sell, and you'll never know what kind of treasures you will happen across just waiting to have their secrets uncovered by a discerning eye. It also gives you an appreciation of the item's unique place in history. Also, make sure you allocate plenty of time to browse!”
On a recent trip to the store, I scored a vintage black lace top and a piece of uranium glass — a slightly radioactive kind of glass popular in the early 20th century, which is tinted green by the addition of uranium and glows neon under a UV light. But my favorite find? An animatronic gorilla that gyrates violently to the “Macarena,” which, when shown to others, elicits reactions ranging from “horrifying” all the way to “epic.”
It’s true what they say: one person’s trash really is another’s treasure.
The Lincoln Highway Hub. 1404 Lincoln Highway, North Versailles. thelincolnhighwayhub.antiquetrail.com