In Yorba Linda's Old Towne, Quality's a Main Attraction

To best experience Old Towne Yorba Linda, simply go up one side of Main Street and down the next. The most interesting shops are all within a few doors of one another.

10 to 10:30: When was the last time you were in a real hardware store-- not some huge "depot" or "club"? Established in 1927, Yorba Linda Hardware retains a spirit of earlier days.

Merchandise includes pitchforks and "world's best" rags--recycled diapers--for $1.29. Nails and screws are weighed out on the store's original scale, a contraption littered with little numbers: "An old, old-timer," agreed sales assistant Russ Prosser. "I don't understand all those (numbers) m'self."

But Prosser, 73, understands plenty else.

"Each one of us here knows something," he said. "I know plumbing; another guy knows lumber. You come in, you get personalized conversation. We sell you just what you need, and we take back what you don't need. I know every customer who comes in here, so we don't let 'em buy anything they don't need; that would be bad. When it comes to plumbing, you're talking a dollar instead of a lot of dollars.

"That's how we do it around here."

10:30 to 11: Gifts n Treasures sells on consignment items fashioned by 20 mostly local crafters. Owner Peggyann Cowart has several crafters working in ceramics, wood, shirts and so on, and it's a beguiling potpourri.

There's a mop puppy ($14) and a musical brontosaurus ($26) with three strings struck by three balls. Nursery rhyme scenes ($30 to $38) in durable Fimo clay depict a cow jumping over the moon, and Jack and Jill next to a well. Home-sweet-home-style signs include one that says, "Missing, husband and cat. Reward for the cat."

Among miniature teapot sets is one in the form of strawberries and another of bears playing saxophone. Ceramic soap dispensers take the shape of kittens, elephants and hippos.

Books include the truly beautiful coffee table tome "The Ubiquitous Pig," and flying Holstein cows entreat "Love one an udder."

11 to 11:30: Rebecca Lynn's shop offers an impressive collection of antique English barometers and clocks ($215 to $675) and replicas of Victorian lamps ($100 to $500).

The clocks variously incorporate brass, marble and wood, and some have little pillars. The lamps are made with beads, satin and chiffon in a variety of colors and have to be seen to be appreciated.

More typical antiques include an Underwood typewriter ($49) and a Singer sewing machine ($295).

Lynn's friends call her "the mad stenciler," and the walls of the shop are stenciled with borders that are both elaborate and tasteful. She teaches stenciling classes at the shop on Saturdays (two hours, $20, two-week advance reservations) and her system of overlaid designs can also be applied to furniture and fireplaces.

11:30 to noon: Abby wears wire-rimmed glasses and a sensitive expression. "Dolls have really gone toward realism," said Louise Pearson, proprietor of All Dolled Up. Abby, No. 10 of a porcelain edition of 25, sells for $1,500.

Handmade porcelain dolls at All Dolled Up start at $800; vinyl versions hover around $500, and manufactured porcelain dolls are offered for as little as $69.

Less realistic are Omar and Khayyam ($380 for the pair). The camel is acrylic plush, and its master is made of felt.

The unabashedly un- realistic Muffy VanderBear line of dolls cover an entire wall.

Muffy is the youngest member of the VanderBear family. Muffy's pets include horse Oatsey, best friend Hoppy VanderHare and Her Dog Lulu, the trademarked name for her terrier. Muffy's accessories include an armoire and sleigh bed; Lulu's include a leash, dog bed and bowl.

One case contains "retired Muffies," discontinued, and apparently more valuable, items from the line. A StradiBearius violin, once $12, is now $125.

Noon to 1: Main Street Restaurant, previously mentioned in this column but worth mentioning again, offers Mexican and Italian cuisine.

Quesadilla Ortega ($4.95) and Our Famous Antipasta ($6.95) share the appetizer list.

Eggplant Burrito ($5.50) is stuffed eggplant with ricotta and mozzarella in a flour tortilla; Killer Burrito ($5.95) is called "classic," but inside you'll find Italian sausage, meatballs, bell peppers, onions and a zesty Italian sauce.

The patio features both a New York City skyline and a Main Street facade depicting Lynn's Cafe and Mike's Barbershop; Lynn Ruocco owns Main Street Restaurant, and her husband runs Mike's Trim next door. The light switch and electrical outlet in the men's room may have been decorated by the mad stenciler or one of her proteges.

Old Towne Yorba Linda

1. Yorba Linda Hardware

4901 Main St. Open Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (714) 777-2888.

2. Gifts n Treasures

4897 Main St. Open Monday through Friday 10 a.m to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (714) 777-8377.

3. Rebecca Lynn's Gifts and Collectibles

4896 Main St. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (714) 779-8850.

4. All Dolled Up

4898 Main St. Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (714) 779-3434.

5. Main Street Restaurant

4902 Main St. Open Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (714) 777-9427.

Parking / Buses

P: There is ample, free parking along Main Street.

B: OCTA bus 26 (Yorba Linda to Fullerton) stops Monday through Saturday at Yorba Linda Boulevard and Imperial Highway.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World