Edgeville Buzz

Antique Store That Helped Redefine Edgewater’s Broadway Has Closed

North Broadway in Edgewater has seen some amazing business growth in the last few years. Yet for those local store owners the daily grind got much harder once COVID-19 hit forcing a state-wide shutdown. Not only did the restaurant/bar Income Tax at 5959 N Broadway shutter during the closures, residents are now learning that Edgewater Antique Mall (EAM) just down the street has also ceased operation.

For 18 years, EAM at 6314 N Broadway and its owner Paul Chaty helped redefine the strip as an antique hunter’s dream in the Chicago area. The retail store was an amalgamation of over 50 area antique dealers who regularly changed up their individual booths creating displays that celebrated nostalgia and all things kitsch.

As the COVID-19 shutdown took over the city, EAM management announced that they would be closed for a couple weeks in order to protect their customers. But as the weeks turned into months, many businesses that may have already been vulnerable found the pandemic to be the final nail in their financial coffin.

Though EAM management did not specifically state that the shutdown was the reason, closing permanently was clearly not what was anticipated in early March.

“After 18 years and as sad as it seems, we are very blessed,” read EAM’s last Facebook post. “Fortunate for our good health, our friends and family. And filled with so many awesome memories of antique slinging here in Edgewater! So very gratifying to see happy customers excited with a purchase for themselves or a gift, or just browsing around with a friend. I hope if you think about the mall you’ll smile and remember having fun.”

Edgewater’s antique trend started in 1998 when Duane Scott Cerny and Jeffrey Nelson moved their business here from Wrigleyville. Broadway Antique Market (BAM) at 6130 N Broadway became the largest multi-dealer antique store in Chicago. Then a few years later Chaty opened the doors to EAM just a couple blocks away bringing even more private dealers to the neighborhood.

Both BAM and EAM found much success by understanding that there is strength in numbers. In the decade that followed, smaller antique stores started to pop up around them and retail shoppers came in numbers.

“It’s a terrible loss to Chicago’s antique community and to Edgewater,” said BAM’s Cerny. “They were a wonderful neighbor and we were stronger together. I doubt there will ever be anything as beautiful as that store, that size, that quality.”

BAM has been selling online since the shutdown offering merchandise pick up only. Now as they and other retail stores begin looking into safely opening, the landscape of Edgewater’s antique community will not be the same.

Though Chaty was unavailable for comment, it was mentioned that a ‘virtual transition’ will be coming soon with information to be posted on the Edgewater Antique Mall Facebook page.

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