first impression: cool clear water

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 presetThere’s a new secondhand store on the scene and I. Am. So. Smitten. It’s called Cool Clear Water, and though the business went without noticeable signage for months, the storefront full of cowboy-boots caught my eye immediately. (There’s two neon signs now, too, so you can’t miss it!)

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetStopping back a few weeks later, I was beyond impressed with the selection of vintage Western wear, jewelry and boots. Oh my, the boots. Shelf, after shelf, after shelf, after shelf, lined with gloriously preserved vintage cowboys boots for men, women and children.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetOwner Glenn, a 20-year resident of the neighborhood and lifelong cowboy-culture buff who named his store after this song (captured on the sly two pics below), estimates he has 300-plus pairs for sale, making Cool Clear Water the preeminent destination if you’re in the market for a new pair of shitkickers.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe store’s stock of snap-front button-downs for men is downright impressive, and includes American-made heritage labels like Ely, Wrangler, Rockmount, Pendleton, Corral West and many more brands unfamiliar to me. The selection is thick and the racks packed tight, so much so that I found myself waiting for my boyfriend to finish browsing, something that in all our years of thrifting together has never ONCE happened before.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetAlso notable: a decently sized assortment of vintage suits, women’s clothes (circle skirts, snap-fronts, blazers), leather motorcycle jackets, cool ’80s and ’90s tees and affordable sterling jewelry and belt buckles, most all of it vintage. Prices aren’t bargain-basement/dirt cheap, but given the standard of quality and high level of curation, I found them to be 100-percent fair. (My hon and I paid $60 for three shirts, one definitely suitable for a dressy occasion, plus a handmade vintage silver and abalone ring for me.)

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetBut don’t just take my word for it, take a look around!

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Coming soon to the space? Guitar lessons upstairs and super-sales on the sidewalk and in the garage (weather dependent). Next time you’re up that way, stop in and take a look!

Where: 1900 Johnson St. Northeast, Minneapolis, MN 55418 (just up from the Quarry!)

Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 to 7:00
Friday, 11:00 to 6:00
Saturday, 11:00 to 5:00
Sunday, Noon to 4:00

Monday, by appointment (call Glenn at 612.250.6661)

Contact: 612.788.4299;



heads up: Waite Park & Audubon Park Neighborhood Garage Sales

The sun is quickly setting on this garage sale season, a fact that, quite honestly, makes me very sad. Fortunately, the lovely residents of the Waite Park and Audubon Park neighborhoods in Northeast Minneapolis are squeezing in one more community-wide sale this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Heading up the organizing committee for this event is my friend Rose, a fellow garage sale-ing addict and vintage lover, who was kind enough to share some insider info about the sale.

Me: Rosie! Tell me why folks should get up early on Saturday and come to these sales?
Rose: With more than 40 households participating, there will definitely be fun bargains for everyone. It’s also the last hurrah for garage sale season! Get out and enjoy the crisp weather and start feathering your nests for winter.

Me: What can people expect to find at this year’s sale?
Rose: Vintage clothing, objet d’art (a.k.a. bric-a-brac), housewares, computer stuff, records, mix tapes, art, house plants, perennials, collectibles, clothing for the whole family, horn of plenty, gadgets, widgets, what-nots and why-nots, fact, fiction, tall tales and short stories, tools, treasures to a two-year old and more. Covet-able items of particular interest include a Formica dining table, vintage clothing for men and women,  Heywood Wakefield furniture, antique school desks, an espresso coffee maker, perennials, Mission-style entertainment center.

Me: Sounds awesome! Where can I get a sale directory?
Rose: Directories will be available on Johnson Street at Hazel’s and The Coffeeshop NE, as well as at the Northeast Library, the Eastside Food Co-op and Holy Land. You can also print one from the comfort of your own home. Here’s the link.

Me: Coffee and food make garage sale adventures more fun. Where can I go to get good coffee or brunch?
Rose: If you are heading down Johnson Street, Coffee Shop Northeast is the perfect place to pick up some to-go coffee. Pair it with some donuts from Sarah Jane’s Bakery across the street for the perfect fuel for your early morning shopping. Post-shopping, sit down to a tasty brunch at Hazel’s—I recommend the brisket hash or Ben’s black bean cakes. If you are starting on Central Ave., get your caffeine fix at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe or the Eastside Food Co-op. Enjoy some of the best Thai food in the city at Sen Yai Sen Lek or have an amazing brunch at Chimborazo, an Ecuadorian restaurant. I highly recommend the llapingachos—loveable cheese-filled potato pancakes.

So, there you have it. The perfect Saturday morning agenda. See you there, sweet readers!



P.S. After hitting up the sales, and find yourself still in the mood to thrift, the East Side Thrift Store, the Salvation Army on Central, the Unique on 37th and Hidden Treasures are all nearby. Just in case you were wondering…