Antiques Mall at Home in 1904 Store


Browsing at Back in Tyme Antique Mall gives visitors a look at more than just vintage collectibles. It also offers a glimpse of the city’s past.

Just west of redeveloped Main Street, resident Pege Poe has transformed a turn-of-the-century building on Walnut Avenue into a business that is winning accolades from residents and city officials.

Tucked inside one of the few remaining historical buildings downtown, the antique mall, which opened in mid-September, “gives a little history back to Huntington Beach,” Poe said Wednesday.


“I’ve just always loved the old stuff,” said Poe, who takes items on consignment and rents space to dealers. She now has 13 dealers in the antique mall and plans to expand to 20.

The loft opened this week to make room for the growing inventory, and the building’s owners plan to begin restoring the exterior later this year.

The structure was built in 1904 by city pioneer M.E. Helme for his home furnishings business. It has blown-glass windows and, on the sidewalk out front, remains of the large metal rings once used to tie up horses.

Poe, who describes herself as an antiques fanatic, said the old building was perfect for businesses that sell antiques, collectibles, reproductions and specialty items.

“The community loves it because there’s nothing else like this down here,” said Poe, who lives seven blocks away and rides a bike to work. “It was something needed in this area because everything on Main Street is so repetitive: bars, souvenir shops and surf shops.”

Poe, 36, a contractor who worked in the building industry most her life, said she has been a longtime antique collector and decided to open the mall after a back injury.


The next step, Poe said, will likely be to expand to a neighboring storefront.

Resident Toni Aubert, a frequent customer, said the shop is certain to draw both residents and tourists. “It adds a little variety,” she said. “I think it’s going to bring people down here.”

Assistant City Administrator Ray Silver said the shop gives residents a reason to visit downtown.

“The city’s really happy about the antique store,” he said. “It represents the kind of retail use that we would like to see more of.”

A big benefit, Silver said, is that the shop’s merchandise is not seasonal, as is the case with many other downtown businesses. “Some uses are so tourist-oriented, they don’t do well in the fall and winter.”