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In the same way that each person has his or her own spirit animal, every individual also has his or her own thrift store. One local clothes designer swears by Wolfe Street, while a certain antique booth operator always scores big at Savers in North Little Rock. We used to swear by Paddywacks, the very pricey but supremely awesome vintage store once located inside Galaxy Furniture in Argenta, but, sadly, it has closed shop.
Though thrift stores by nature are hit or miss, here's some general information that will help your search go more smoothly.
Angels in the Attic Hospice Thrift Shop Nicely arranged and fairly priced merchandise and friendly employees make shopping here a pleasant experience, though parking can be an issue. It always has an ample supply of women's blazers and men's clothes. Don't forget the downstairs; it sometimes yields better discoveries than upstairs — fire king mugs, anyone? 3608 Kavanaugh, 975-6666, checks and credit cards accepted, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Goodwill Stores: University, Rodney Parham, Bryant Because of its proximity to UALR, the Goodwill on University always feels slightly picked over (we assume by co-eds). The Goodwill on Rodney Parham, however, has an ever-changing inventory that includes a consistently good book section and housewares aisle. It's a small store, so it feels manageable. The newly opened Goodwill superstore in Bryant is the Walmart of thrift stores, a huge space full of goods, complete with coffee and concessions. It's a guarantee you'll find something—whether it be framed butterflies or a vintage shirt for your favorite retro guy. Checks and credit cards accepted. Bryant, Highway 5N, 653-2209, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.; 9700 N. Rodney Parham, Suite F, 224-6221, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sun.; 2904 S. University Ave., 568-5313, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.
Hillcrest Junk Located across from Kroger in Hillcrest, this store offers an array of vintage and contemporary goods, from furniture to figurines. If it's clothes you're after, you'll find few here, but you'll find just about everything else. There's even a small shop dog to welcome you. Prices are firm but reasonable. Cash or check only. 623A Beechwood St., 681-7999, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., noon-5 p.m. Mon.-Tue.
My Favorite Thrift Store Located in a little building next to the Exxon station across from War Memorial, this store has the best sign and window display around. The selection is scanty at times, but repeat visits bear fruit (plastic and ornamental). Exceptional prices. Proceeds benefit Our House. Checks and debit cards accepted. 109 N. Van Buren St., 353-0642, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store Not the nicest store in terms of atmosphere, but worth a look. Taquerias and taco trucks abound near this location, so grab some lunch while there. Local checks (within Pulaski County) and credit cards accepted. 6501 Geyer Springs Road, 562-6340, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Savers Well, it's been an emotional roller coaster. First, to the dismay of Little Rock shoppers (and delight of North Little Rock ones), the Savers in Riverdale relocated to JFK. Though loyal Little Rock residents made the trek across the river, they rejoiced when another Savers opened up in the old CompUSA store out west earlier this year. The two stores are comparable — both are well-organized with ever-changing merchandise. And the prices? Well, the name says it all. You won't leave empty-handed, and you will leave feeling like you scored a bargain.
At the JFK store, you'll find literally aisle after aisle of household items, bric-a-brac, holiday merchandise, and more. (This is the place for coffee mugs.) The Bowman location has a reputation for having a better selection of books and toys. Credit cards and checks accepted. 4135 JFK Blvd., NLR, 603-9831; 801 S. Bowman Road, LR, 217-9417. 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun.
Wolfe Street Thrift Store One frequent visitor to Wolfe Street recently noted that the place seems cleaner and more organized than in times past. It used to be that a little la cucaracha might jump out as you were sifting through piles of clothes, but the likelihood of that happening may have decreased. An insider's tip: local estate sales drop off leftover merchandise here after weekend sales, so Wednesdays are best. Allow plenty of time for perusing and enjoy those great prices. Cash or check only. 1224 Wolfe St., 375-5747, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Wed., Fri.