Bethesda Dress for Less Thrift Store
Tucked into one of Maplewood’s many strip malls (the Hafner Centre, to be exact), this store is a little gem. While the majority of the clothing trends towards modern stuff with heavy dose of suburban mom flavor, it’s often peppered with ’60s- and ’70s-era vintage—teases that will keep you visiting week after week.
To keep merchandise moving, special savings are a daily occurrence—all items with a certain color tag are 50 percent off, or, if you’re lucky as I was one recent Saturday, $1. I walked skipped out of the store with a garbage bag full of treasures, all for $20. Don’t miss the grocery cart of half-off merchandise found next to the register, too. I’ve found some beautiful ’60s-era tablecloths and cute old scarves in there for song.
In terms of service, the lovely ladies—all volunteers!—who run this shop couldn’t be sweeter. It’s the place to thrift if you miss your grandmas, as I do frequently. They start chatting about their replaced hips and water aerobics classes and boy oh boy, I eat it up. One hundred percent of the profits from Bethesda’s thrifts support Bethesda Lutheran Communities. According to the charity’s website, in 2008, the shops provided $1.2 million that helped pay for specially built wheelchairs, dentures, supplies for feeding tubes and for Christian education and “spiritual nurture” for the folks served by the organization. I don’t know what “spiritual nurture” means exactly, but if shopping there helps put teeth in a toothless mouth, I’m all about it. I’m biased towards non-profit thrifts, as you’ll find out.
Some of my favorite finds from this shop:
I’ve also scored unbelievable deals on vintage coats here. My favorite is a stunning green bouclé wool beauty with original buttons and mink collar. With an $8 price tag, I couldn’t pass it up. Other good finds include a two-piece wool suit from the ’60s ($1), an awesome striped ’80s-era shirt dress ($4.99), countless blouses ($1-4.99), cute brooches ($2.99)…I could go on.
Go here to find: vintage coats and blouses, impeccable table linens, scarves, fabric remnants, cookbooks, awesome old sewing patterns, never-used vintage stockings
Selection/Variety: ♥ ♥ ♥
Quality: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Pricing: ♥ ♥ ♥
Organization: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Customer service: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Cleanliness: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
While you’re there: You mean besides hitting up the Dairy Queen across the street? Okay fine. The sign advertising the $1.50 burger at Bleecher’s Bar & Grill tempts me, but I haven’t been brave enough to give it a go. Has anyone eaten there? One of these Saturdays, when the burger bug bites, I’ll give it a try.
Anyway, if you’re wanting to maximize your thrifting excursion, make a quick stop at ARC Value Village or Goodwill. They sit like two ducks in a row on your way from Highway 36 to the Bethesda shop. Head north on White Bear Avenue towards Highway 36 and they’ll both be on your right.
Where it is: 1550 White Bear Ave. N., St. Paul, MN 55106
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
I’m working hard on a handy how-to, coming up soon!