An antique shop is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about typical college student hangouts. However, that is exactly where students are meeting up to spend some leisure time off campus.
Antiqology, started by owners Adam and Rebecca Hanson, is more than just an antique store. Along with vintage items to decorate a home with, it boasts over 130 different kinds of bottled soda. They also sell hand scooped ice cream and are famous for their old-fashioned root beer floats served with draft root beer.
What started as a small shop in an office in the Hansons’ home turned into a thriving business in a prominent section of downtown Huntington.
“We were seeing 400 to 500 people a week in and out of our house shop,” Adam said.
In November 2012, they decided to move the business out of their house and into a shop next to the theatre off Jefferson Street. Soon they had over 700 customers a week from all over the Midwest.
The Hansons won a contest to bring business back to downtown Huntington and won one year’s lease in their current building at the corner of Jefferson Street and Market Street. It took them three months to renovate the new space, but it was time and effort well spent, Adam said.
“We were putting in 12 to 14 hour days to get the new location up and running,” Adam said. “We wanted to interact with the community and help it grow.”
They opened Antiqology the third week in June this summer and started seeing over 2,000 customers a week.
“We wanted to connect to the local people on a regular basis,” Adam said.
Antiqology is different from other antique stores in that it focuses primarily on antiques to decorate living spaces. There are no old collectibles such as lighters or cigar cases. Instead, they hand pick tasteful items.
Adam and Rebecca close the shop on Mondays and Tuesdays to go picking for antiques to sell in the store. They travel within a 100 mile radius to find items worth selling that customers are interested in.
“It’s awesome,” junior Joe Brenneman said. “Everyone should take the time to go check it out. The Dang! Butterscotch Rootbeer is the best.”
Antiqology is an experience in and of itself, Adam said. Everything from the old fashioned cash register to the sodas to the stylish antiques gives the feel of being transported back in time to a simpler era where friends gathered together over ice cold root beer at an ice cream parlor.
“Our whole business plan is about the experience,” Adam said. “Where can you go to get over 130 different bottled sodas or hand-scooped ice cream in Huntington? We’re trying to be an inspiration to others and bring business back to Huntington.”
Antiqology is located at 401 N Jefferson St. They are open for business 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday.