Make us your home page
The merchants of Indian Rocks Road's Antique Alley

Merchants' specialties find a home in Belleaire Bluffs' Antique Alley

After sitting vacant for five years, the building that was the former French Hen restaurant owned by Linda Hogan and her ex-husband, professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, is bustling with new business. Directly across the driveway at Antique Alley in Belleair Bluffs is another freestanding building that houses Magnolia Marketplace. Owner Kathy Ross-Johnson has started a new business in a next-door shop and a former business, Biscayne Art & Framing, has returned to the Alley for the third time and grown its business.

Slipcovers, upholstery and curtains

Jeanne Waldow recently moved her Slipcovers Etc. business just steps away in Antique Alley to the building remembered best as the restaurant.

She is leasing 1,000 square feet of the 3,000-square-foot building for her business that includes professional upholsterer Ruby Mawby. Claudia Farrow, who owns Curtains Etc. and often works on projects with Waldow, also leases a section of the space dominated by a north wall of windows the length of the room.

Waldow's services include slipcovers, cushions (indoor and outdoor) for antique chairs, sofas, sofabeds, benches, stools and other furnishings. Furniture repairs are available from several experts working in Antique Alley.

"We're thrilled with this location," Waldow said. "The lighting is incredible and the room is so much more people- and work-friendly."

Waldow's husband, Warren, a pediatric dentist, is planning to open the remaining part of the building for a coastal-style furnishings business.

Vintage, garden, antiques and traditional furnishing

Kathy Ross-Johnson's Magnolia Marketplace specializes in the eclectic — vintage interiors, garden elements from old homes and farms, artworks and salvaged metals and woods made into new things. After 21/2 years, she was running out of space for her other businesses, floral design and staging houses up for sale.

"My kitchen had become a floral shop," she said. Her family wasn't thrilled.

Voila! Magnolia II, an airy shop right next door in the Alley that features unusual and dramatic antiques, traditional furnishings, rugs, floor and table lamps, as well as accent pieces. It also has room for the floral work she does for parties, weddings and other events.

The furniture has been used only for home staging. Among the pieces are a hand-carved 18th-century Danish cupboard, a teak coffee table, hand-carved Tibetan moldings from doorways and windows, leather recliners and a Tommy Bahama bed and sofa series.

Framing and vintage postcards

Steve Kalter, in the business of framing original art, posters and prints for 17 years, has returned to his first home in Antique Alley and opened Biscayne Art & Framing and a new business.

Your Town Memories features some 5,000 vintage postcards from all over the country with scenes from 70 to 100 years ago. Kalter enlarges the cards to 11- by 7-inch size, mounts them on hard board and finishes them with an acrylic coating. The cards can be framed or used as placemats and postcards.

Local cards include the old Tarpon Springs sponge industry, and St. Petersburg's famous green benches and Webb's City.

The cards are featured in Ace hardware stores nationwide and Hallmark shops in several states, Kalter said. Locally, they are in Clearwater Beach stores and Hammerheads Ace hardware in Largo.

To handle the sales, Kalter has two part-time employees and 25 sales reps in 10 states. After the first of the year, he said he will extend his current 700-square-foot space to 1,400 square feet next door.

If you go:

All the businesses are at Antique Alley, Indian Rocks Road, Belleair Bluffs:

Slipcovers etc. and Curtains etc., 596 Indian Rocks Road: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call (727) 587-7900 and (727) 422-7975.

Magnolia Marketplace and Magnolia II, 560 Indian Rocks Road: Open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call (727) 581-4142.

Biscayne Art & Framing and Your Town Memories, 596 Indian Rocks Road: Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call (727) 517-8460.

Merchants' specialties find a home in Belleaire Bluffs' Antique Alley 12/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 4:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares by 20 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just then you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  2. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]
  3. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer makes even the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  4. Tampa-based start-up takes on Airbnb by promoting inclusion, diversity


    NEW TAMPA — Last May, Rohan Gilkes attempted to book a property in Idaho on the home-sharing platform Airbnb. After two failed attempts, the African-American entrepreneur asked a white friend to try, and she was "instantly" approved for the same property and dates.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. Rohan Gilkes, the founder, said he created the organization after several negative experiences with Airbnb.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. McMansions, state sewage order on tap at St. Petersburg City Council

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council is set Thursday to vote on two major issues: controversial zoning changes aimed at curbing big McMansion-style homes and a consent order with the state that will require St. Petersburg to fix its ailing sewage system.

    Two big, blocky homes on the 2300 block of Dartmouth, Ave N under construction in April. Several new homes under construction.
in St. Petersburg's Historic Kenwood Neighborhood are too big, residents complain. The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday is set to consider ordinances aimed at curbing the construction of big "McMansions." [LARA CERRI   |   Times]