Old Town Antiques has new Central Hillside location

The smaller space on Fourth Street in Duluth is packed full of nostalgia.

Woman sits in her antique store.
Carol Jouppi smiles in the new site of Old Town Antiques at 926 E. Fourth St. in Duluth on Thursday afternoon. Jouppi had to find a new location after the former site on Superior Street was slated for demolition.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

DULUTH — Old Town Antiques is back in business at its new Central Hillside location after vacating the downtown Hotel Astoria building in March 2022.

The quaint shop is now situated at 926 E. Fourth St., next door to Dannie-Duluth Consignment Clothing, with college campuses, rental housing and Duluth Whole Foods Co-op nearby.

"We're in a community, an actual community where neighbors can walk to it. We have places that families go," said Carol Jouppi, owner of Old Town Antiques.

Antique shop in snow.
Snow falls at the new location of Old Town Antiques at 926 E. Fourth St.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Jouppi was a dealer in the former space for 10 years prior to purchasing the business in 2011 from Mark Kilen. She first began collecting antiques after inheriting her mother's children book collection.

"The first place I went was an auction at the Lincoln Park High School," she said. "We bought one full room of blackboards for $5, and had to take them down ourselves. They were very heavy. When we moved, we sold them all for $300, but was the first thing that got us hooked."


Woman works at register next to a man.
Carol Jouppi, left, owner of Old Town Antiques, works on the register next to her husband, Dave.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

In December 2021, Jouppi received notice to vacate within 45 days because the former Hotel Astoria building was set to be demolished. Old Town Antiques was granted a two-week extension from the building owners to remove any belongings.

Jouppi's husband, Dave, was ill and unable to help with the move, so many of the other dealers pitched in to pack nearly 5,000 square feet of items throughout the store and basement. Volunteers from The Vineyard Church made at least seven trips to haul trailer loads of antiques to the garage. Old Town Antiques was out by March 2022.

"If it wasn't for them, I don't know that we would have made it," Jouppi said.

also read
The menu of specialty coffee and pastries mirrors that of the Fitger's Yellow Bike Coffee location. Once the new kitchen is complete, craft food options will be available at the Airpark site.
The business, in the former Boondocks Saloon and Grill, is a partnership between the Midlife Investment Group and the owners of Canal Park's Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar.
Sauna du Nord is one of many businesses participating in the Great Duluth Sweat Together, which will aim for a new Guinness World Record: the most people to take a sauna in one city in a day.
Burger Paradox adds to the mix of Duluth Grill Family of Restaurants projects in the growing Duluth neighborhood.
Former owners Tim and Tom Cosgrove: "It's in good hands."
After a quarter-century in business, it's relocating in Canal Park's DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace.
Duluth Creative Co. is located in the Bagley building.
Approaching its third anniversary, the business serves dogs in the Duluth area.
After four years, Reimagined by T. Underwood owner Tammy Clore is throwing in the towel.
Her style: “Bright. colorful. Ugly floral. Anything neon. Obnoxious patterns," and it's magnetic.

Last spring, she began the difficult search for a feasible new location downtown.

"We looked everywhere. Rent prices were higher. Many places wanted to go triple net, which is where you pay a percent of taxes, insurance and gross income," Jouppi said. "I knew my dealers could not afford that from what I was paying before. To raise the rent, I knew I couldn't afford it."

Beer labels in a box.
Labels for both Northern Beer and Fitger’s Beer are available for purchase at Old Town Antiques.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

This was all around the time Perry Framing and Stained Glass owner Penny Perry sold her downtown building at 216 and 218 E. Superior St. to Hucklebeary owner Emily Ekstrom after 47 years of operation.

Hucklebeary was originally located in the former Hotel Astoria site as well, but wasn't required to move out immediately as Eckstrom was still under lease, Jouppi said. Eckstrom allowed Jouppi to store items in the gift shop's space while Old Town worked to relocate.

When Perry discovered the vacant Fourth Street building, she and Jouppi teamed up to co-rent the space. Old Town Antiques is located on the street level, with Perry Framing and Stained Glass occupying the basement. Perry also had a small dealer spot at Old Town Antiques.


A strong support system formed between the three women-owned businesses. Staffing remains a challenge for Hucklebeary, so Jouppi pitches in at the downtown gift shop once a week while Perry helps out at Old Town Antiques.

"Being a woman and having that support is very important for all of us in overcoming the white man's world," said Jouppi. "It's a wonderful support system. Family is great, but outside support is crucial. It is very important to have networking."

Things in an antique store.
A variety of odds and ends line the walls at the new location of Old Town Antiques.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Since they began renting in August, Jouppi and Perry painted and installed slat walls before moving into the building that previously housed Port City Auctions and Billiard Supplies.

There was not enough room for all Jouppi's "stuff" at the new shop, so Old Town Antiques also sells items at Father Time Antiques on Lake Avenue and Vintage Hideaway in Hermantown, she said.

At its former location, Old Town Antiques had 30 consignors. Now it works with four.

"It is a lot smaller. There is not as much variety since there is not as much room. Everyone that comes in who is supporting us misses the old building because it was so big. I like it because it's cozy," Jouppi said, adding, "At the old store, we used to have a lot of high-rise customers. It was easy for the elderly to get there. The trolley should venture here to Fourth Street. I would like the Central Hillside to be included in the (Historic Arts and Theatre) District, or be able to get downtown and be part of it. The city is going to want to expand. There are new apartments coming to Fourth Street soon, if the city could include us or spread their wings more than just Superior Street."

Balls of string in a bin.
Works by local artist Sterling Rathsack hang from the ceiling.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Many people find the antique shop to be nostalgic and return time again to sift through artwork, World War I items, U.S. Marine Corps items from the Vietnam War era, old photographs, stained glass, furniture and more, Jouppi said.

Foot traffic has remained steady at Old Town Antiques in its new Fourth Street location, with several people taking advantage of the free hourlong parking to buzz in and out.


"A lot of them just come for the experience," she said. "Some come as a family and talk about memories. It's not about a sale, it's about making them comfortable to come back."

Brielle Bredsten is the business reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing & Technical Communication, with minors in Advertising and Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University, in addition to a two-year professional paid internship as reporter/editor of the student newspaper.

She is an award-winning professional writer, photographer and editor based in rural Minnesota. Over the past decade, Brielle Bredsten has contributed more than 1,000 articles, feature stories, non-profit press-releases, photographs and columns. Her work has been published in several community newspapers.

Send her story tips, feedback or just say hi at
What To Read Next
Get Local