For over three years, Alberto and Nanci Caceda squeezed antiques and clothes into their thrift shop on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood until they could squeeze no more.
So now they’re moving a few doors down the street to a store that is twice the size of the current Gotham Thrift Shop.
The new store can hold everything they’ve accumulated over the years, much of which is currently piled in their store’s basement, the backyard and a two-car garage.
“We have too much junk,” said Alberto, who spent 10 years in the military, including two tours in Iraq. “Well, I call it junk but it’s not really junk. It’s precious junk to me and a lot of people.”
Rather than move everything from the old store to the new one, they’re going to try and sell as much as possible by marking everything down by 20 percent in June.
They hope to open the new location on June 14 and mark the opening with a huge sale.
On Monday, Alberto stood in the front of the gutted, empty new store on Myrtle Avenue. Nanci was inside hanging a sign on the glass display that said “Future Home of Gotham Thrift.”
As Nanci put the sign up, Diego Gonzalez, a local, approached Alberto with a blue bike. It was an English-made Dunelt bike, and Alberto arranged to sell it for Gonzalez with a seller’s commission.
With the new space and its 4,000 square feet, the married couple would be able to display more and bigger things like bikes. They also hope to hire a longtime customer. Their current store is hardly 2,000 square feet, according to Alberto, and is crammed with all sorts of things, including a cigarette vending machine, lamps from the ‘50s and ‘60s, cassettes tapes and typewriters.
The store also serves to preserve old things in the community. In 2011, when the thrift shop first opened, the couple bought shoes at an auction that were made in a shoe factory in Maspeth. And in storage, they have stained-glass windows from the almost-century-old Ridgewood Theater. The theater has since been bought by a development company, according to Curbed, and is expected to be converted into a condo.
“It’s fun to go around and see this cool stuff,” Alberto said. “I sometimes see really amazing things.”