By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Palatine Pickers Hobby Club Inc. welcomes all customers to its new general store and thrift shop.
This hobby club was incorporated on Nov. 21, and opened a storefront in Fairmont around Christmas to support its operations. The shop is located at the end of the High Level Bridge at 310 Merchant St., in the former Community Hardware building and above Palatine Park.
Chris Myhalsky, president of Palatine Pickers, said the corporation had originally planned to wait until the first of the year to begin business at the general store and thrift shop. However, because the public showed so much interest, the officers decided to go ahead and open up the place early.
“Business has been very sound ... a lot more than we expected for just a week being open,” he said.
Myhalsky explained that Palatine Pickers features an array of new, everyday merchandise similar to what customers would see in a general store or dollar store, as well as items that might pertain to someone’s hobby.
People will also see gently used thrift shop type items, including furniture, vinyl records, cutlery, antiques, gifts and knick-knacks, that they won’t find anywhere else.
While traveling for work, Myhalsky had seen similar stores and felt that Fairmont needed a business like Palatine Pickers.
He said much of the merchandise has been acquired and collected at different auctions held locally and out of state over the years. Palatine Pickers has several warehouses filled with unique, gently used items, and intends to regularly switch out that inventory to give customers variety.
The shop accepts donations and will also take in items on consignment.
Myhalsky encouraged everyone to come visit the store and see what it has to offer. Credit cards, debit cards and cash are all accepted.
“Browsers are welcome,” he said. “They get that personal attention whether they purchase anything or not. We’re just here for the public.”
Palatine Pickers wants to share its knowledge and experience related to antiques and thrift shop items, Myhalsky said.
The corporation also has some big plans for the second phase of the building.
Around April, Palatine Pickers plans to open up a classroom or multipurpose room at the back of the store where people can share their hobbies and provide instruction.
While the store portion is open to the general public, the classroom portion is only available for members of Palatine Pickers Hobby Club Inc. The membership dues are very reasonable, Myhalsky said.
The shop is currently open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the hours will expand in the spring as the weather improves and as the second half of the store opens up. Palatine Pickers also hopes to add more staff members in the future.
“So far, the public has been really supportive,” Myhalsky said.
For more information, call Palatine Pickers at 304-366-9023.
Email Jessica Borders at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.