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Design Stores

Phil'z 20th Century Design

Posted by Staff / Posted on May 23, 2007

Phil'z 20th Century DesignIt seems everyone sells reproduction Eames recliners (personally I think we can point to Frasier), but not everywhere has an Eames Sofa Compact (Phil'z does -- $2995). For square footage, Phil'z 20th Century Design isn't quite in the same league as the Queen West Antique Centre, but it does go on and on, and back and around. Lots to see and covet.

Discussion

47 Comments

Denovo / January 22, 2008 at 05:20 pm
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Phil's 20th Century Rip-off

THIS IS FROM PERSON EXPERIENCE:

Phil'z disengenuous work ethic makes it impossible to hold him accountable for selling cheap knock-offs at designer prices. I had TWO pieces come apart at the seams whichl has refused to replace or repair.

He does not warrantee his sales, he squabbles over "blame" and even became verbally abusive.

SHOP ELSEWHERE.
/ March 5, 2008 at 04:00 am
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I had a similar experience at Philz. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. And I'd like to throw him! Dodgy as hell!
Alexandra / May 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm
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I was very happy with my purchase at Phil's. I found his prices fair and reasonable. He even paid for the delivery of the dinning room set I bought. I have been in several times and always enjoyed my time in the store. They are very knowlegeable about 20th century furniture and style. Plus super friendly!
Gary / December 6, 2008 at 07:59 am
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I took the day off to shop for furniture and went in there. There was a lamp I wanted to buy but since it wasn't on sale, I wanted to go home, picture what I saw in my space and think about it a bit.
The woman there, who I found out was Phil's wife, was somewhat pushy about the lamp, but when I told her I live close by and might be back to buy it, she turned into a complete bitch. I asked her about something else, and she literally sneered at me and said, that's a "haute couture, high-end piece", "It's for people who know what they want. If you can't decide on the lamp, I don't think that piece is for you." I couldn't believe it!!

I like to support small businesses and nice people. I wouldn't spend a dime in there because of the attitude of the owners, not to mention the inventory of over-priced knock-offs.

I've recounted this bizarre story to several friends who ALL had similar experiences. That woman is a stuck-up, wierd nutcase.
I heard the husband is a jerk. Stay away!!
jay / January 8, 2009 at 03:36 pm
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overpriced, over hyped...a few nice pieces but overall there are no finds or bargains...
what's wrong with these stores? impersonal and nasty...yuck...i'd rather buy on ebay...
Jane / January 18, 2009 at 04:48 pm
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I worked for these people. It was a NIGHTMARE to say the least. Some of the stuff comes from Goodwill for god's sake. Please, don't waste your time and dimes here.
Sean / February 16, 2009 at 06:14 pm
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oh Phil, you should be ashamed...
Sonny / March 14, 2009 at 03:28 pm
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Just went in there today. They woman working there was a complete snob. I'll spend my money elsewhere.
loooopz@hotmail.com / April 29, 2009 at 01:14 am
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I bought a couple of expensive pieces a year ago. And it was quite an experience.

When we got to the store and I fell in love for them. So, we decided to wait untill we would be in a better financial position to get them. Recently moved, there's always something more urgent to get than a coffee table and a beautiful bookshelf.

Then, both Phil and his wife, played the game "if you don't get them now, you might loose them. We had somebody interested last week", "we won't get pieces like this from California again soon". We gave them a $500 deposit (about 25%) with the promise to keep them for us and back in a month or two with the rest $1500.

Well, we finished the transaction and got what we wanted, with a tiny discount for the purchase of the two pieces, I have to say. Everybody happy.

And when I went back to the store a few days later, to my surprise, I saw the same pieces they sold us as unique and difficult to get. So, we got other pieces than the ones at the store (they had them in the warehouse), the ones that were so unique and worth so much.

Beautiful, honest move Mr. Phil
sarastan / July 30, 2009 at 02:04 pm
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We were seduced by the beautiful furniture in their store. We bought 2 bakery shelves for 2390$. But then once we brought them home after a couple for days our apartment started reaking with a moldy smell. Slowly we figured out it was form the shelves we tried keeping the windows open for 2 weeks straight but the smell just got worse. When we contacted the owner Cynthia she said it wasn't her responsibility and hung up the phone to our faces. We then went physically to the store and even then she told us she didn't care and a sold product was a sold product.

She didn't care that her product was putting our health in danger and was preventing us from being at ease in our home.

The shelves are now on our balcony as we can no loner bare to have them inside because it was causing us severe headaches, and we are going to have to start a legal procedure to ger her to take them back.

don't do business with this woman you will regret it. She has no scruples and is pretty much heartless.


Sarastan
Jim / August 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm
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I also had the woman tell me that she was too busy to talk if I was not buying. I went arcoss the street to Pazo found the table and chairs I wanted and they delivered for free. I will never go back to Philz.

Go across the street
www.studiopazo.com
austintable / August 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm
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Thanks for the reviews. I am in the process of looking for pieces for my condo, and I am glad I read these reviews before going here. It sounds awful.
John / August 29, 2009 at 03:38 pm
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I spoke to a sales assocaiate who is working there now. She was friendly and quite surprised about the reputation of Phil'zs owners. She said they were nice to her. She pointed out that she strove to work with the client and help them. I enjoyed talking to her. I explained to her that I was shopping for vintage and that under the TO BLOg Philz had a horrible rating for customer
satisfaction. Maybe cynthia and phil will smarten up a bit and realize they are on borrowed time. With all the other stores offering product they should perhaps improve their people skills and not act like such "ASSHOLES" . Probably not though. Maybe bankruptcy is the only lesson they will at some point!!!
Becky / October 5, 2009 at 10:46 am
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I'm glad that I read this thread. I had been in there recently and saw some barstools that I really wanted (still do!) but I felt they were twice the price they should have been and when I asked the woman who was working there for a discount she was very offended saying that it was "very optimistic of me". I ended up leaving. I don't want to support people that rip others off. I won't go back.
Ed / December 7, 2009 at 11:31 am
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I am glad I read these, I fell in love with a lamp and a leather couch. They were honest with me saying they could get another since this one was sold.
The woman had been very snooty in the past but Saturday she was there with man I am assuming is her husband and was very nice. Which I found surprising.

Annie replying to a comment from Ed / February 28, 2010 at 09:35 pm
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They have been known to feign 'nice', to get what they want - your money - you've been their next target and just been had. Don't fall for it. Their unscrupulous thievery, psychotic behaviour, and dishonesty is abhorrent. This business is not of integrity. Beware.
Jennifer / May 6, 2010 at 12:50 am
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Thank you for your posts. I fell in love with a 1940's swedish credenza but was put off by the owner's (whom I now know was Cynthia) attitude. This site's helped me make my decision...to fall in love with another credenza....somewhere else.
Kim / May 29, 2010 at 01:38 pm
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If you want anything from this store all you need to do is keep up to date with what's in the other shops on the street...I say this because Phil trolls his neighbours for pieces, buys them and triples the price. We had our eye on a 10' sideboard that was listed for $750 down the street, a few weeks later we went to buy it but it was gone - 15 minutes later we saw it at Philz for $2850. Unethical and pathetic no wonder the woman in the store couldn't give us any of the information on it.

We had made a purchase at Philz about a year before. We were treated like children instead of clients, followed around like we were going to either shoplift or break something and only treated with slight some gratitude once she saw our credit card.

If you are into vintage finds just know that you can find anything in Philz anywhere else in the city (really in the same area) for less than half the price and you'll be treated with some respect.

Philz gets a "don't shop" from me.
ohtwo / June 28, 2010 at 08:18 pm
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I'm a designer who just moved to Toronto and have been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness and knowledge of Toronto shop owners. Of course, there's always going to be an exception to the rule. That would be Phil'z.

While exploring Leslieville, I came across Phil'z and went in for a look. The shop was empty except for the owners who went to great pains to ignore my presence. Finally, I attempted to break the ice and said "hi", to which the response was an annoyed "yes?".

I continued to peruse the shop and came across an impressive large painting. Phil's wife came towards me, stopped about fifteen feet short and commented "lovely, isn't it?". When I asked if it was a local artist she simply sneered, said "no" and then stared at me.

Frustrated, I told her that that was an opportunity to tell me something, anything about the piece. I turned out that she didn't know a thing about it. Then she got bored and walked away. Charming.

With the abundance of great vintage design shops in Toronto, I don't think I'll ever feel the need to darken Phil'z doorstep again. I will, however, make sure to tell all my design colleagues to stay far away.
woods / August 5, 2010 at 04:00 pm
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They seem totally disinterested in customers. The prices are insale and the selection looks good but...


Look around, plenty of other shops.

Photodude / December 1, 2010 at 04:56 am
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I just stumbled on this blog and OMG do I feel redeemed!! Thank god I am not the only one who has had to deal with the bizarre and frosty Cynthia and her mood swings. I have given that store a fair amount of business and referrals over the years but every time I walk in there it's always a crap shoot as to whether or not I will even be acknowledged let alone given some friendly conversation....if you want great pieces with no attitude go to Mike and Amy at "queen west antique center" or their higher end store "filter" at Jarvis/Adelaide....Guff in leslieville is also great for good deals... or for industrial chic check out Smash in the junction.....Paul is very nice and actually engages you in conversation...wow what a concept!! And I too have been followed into the back room at philz as if I was going to shop lift or somehow damage the merch .....I've never met the husband but Cynthia has been a mystery to me from day 1...glad to know I'm not the only one!!
Patryk / January 20, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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I will have to disagree with some of your comments. Phil'z has amazing merchandise and I find Phil and Cynthia to be customer service oriented and took care of an issue a had with the same tact and professionalism expected of any higher end shop. I bought a table about 6 months ago and as beautiful as it was, it developed some warping and a crack, I came into the store and Cynthia was very appologetic and offered me a full refund or free repair job. Going off the reviews, I was worried that I'd be given the cold shoulder, but that couldnt be further from the truth. I support independant stores like this and I really hope this one continues to do well. Thank you Phil & Cynthia, I will definitely return!
Patryk / January 20, 2011 at 01:30 pm
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I will have to disagree with some of your comments. Phil'z has amazing merchandise and I find Phil and Cynthia to be customer service oriented and took care of an issue a had with the same tact and professionalism expected of any higher end shop. I bought a table about 6 months ago and as beautiful as it was, it developed some warping and a crack, I came into the store and Cynthia was very appologetic and offered me a full refund or free repair job. Going off the reviews, I was worried that I'd be given the cold shoulder, but that couldnt be further from the truth. I support independant stores like this and I really hope this one continues to do well. Thank you Phil & Cynthia, I will definitely return!
jay / February 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm
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Been going there for 3 years - I've had conversations with Cynthia, she seems knowledgeable, and agree not overly friendly. But criticism here is over the top and a bit exaggerated.
Bepp / August 2, 2011 at 05:08 pm
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Its funny how you can think that maybe YOU did something wrong when analyzing why a situation went so bad, but I can now clearly see that the horrible service I consistently get from Philz--and specifically that bitchy owner--is NOT just limited to me.
The only reason I ever returned was because I was taking friends around to "cool shops" in Leslieville and they wanted to go (despite my efforts to change their mind). But, completely true to form, that cow managed to make everyone feel like backwoods hicks. That bitch is such a stuck-up bully that she needs to get her head examined. I am waiting for the day that they go tits up.
CJean / August 27, 2011 at 04:02 pm
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Was in the store today, drawn in by the beautiful furniture - was then thrown by the incredibly RUDE service from Phil and his wife. My friend and I were looking at a couch and sat on it when Phil walked by and said ' this is SOLD' . In response I said ' I see that but wanted to test it out as it is so beautiful' he then said well it's not for jumping on as if I was a 5 year old child. I'd like to point out that I simply sat down on it -nothing more.

As we were leaving I turned to ask where they get their furniture from, he and his wife refused to make eye contact and said we get it from all over the world in a very snooty voice. I then mumbled, well that was a nice encounter now wasn't it.... All I can say is that Phil is an A-HOLE and I hope his store goes bankrupt. Clearly I am not the only one to feel this way - that makes me happy :)
Teenie / August 28, 2011 at 03:19 pm
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I was in Philz a few years ago and I fell in love with the most beautiful teak slab coffee table I'd ever seen. It had an enormous teak root up the centre and was peanut-shaped/curved, perfect for a sectional couch area. At the time I was unaware of the market, but thought the priced was high. I have to admit, I have seen lousy pieces for more money and I regret not buying it. I never put down a deposit and when I came in again it was gone. I went in a few more times to inquire if they might get any others in that were similar, and I was treated like the poor stupid lowlife that couldn't afford the table and therefore should be ignored. They wouldn't even assist in finding a similar piece for me.
These people are beyond a doubt the most miserable, condescending shop owners I've ever met in Toronto - give your money to owners who enjoy being alive and don't despise your very existence before, during and after you've paid them!
If anyone saw the table I'm talking about and knows where I might find another rare piece like that, please post info!
James / September 9, 2011 at 04:27 pm
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I agree, the attitude in this place is not welcoming. There is so much better stores out there anyway.
AMY / September 30, 2011 at 02:22 am
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Has anyone ever heard of Consumer Rights? Ontario has a consumer rights bureau and, you can also cancel a contract within the first ten days without penalty, and the store owners can't do squat! There are also other consumer laws that protect us, so people, get smart!
After failing to seek help from a store owner, you can call the consumer rights office and file a formal complaint. They will direct you on the best course of action for your particular case.
http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Complaint_Steps_to_File.aspx
AND
If the vendor didn't disclose some information about a product as in the mold issue in one of these posts, the buyer has one year to exercise their rights
"Consumer agreements must disclose all details If a company isn’t delivering on its contract with you, or if you encounter an aspect of the deal the company was required to disclose by law but didn’t, you have the right to cancel within one year."

All people who've had bad experiences with these fake and deceptive merchants should report them to the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Rights Agency, and whatever other area their complaint may fall under for retribution and justice. Many many vendors, store owners etc., bank on us the consumers not knowing our rights! Wake up and report them. It will only take minutes out of your schedules!
PEACE
AMY replying to a comment from Bepp / September 30, 2011 at 02:24 am
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You probably work for them.
customer no longer / October 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm
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I recommend that you avoid shopping at PHILZ because their business practices are unreliable and they lie.

Case in point. They agreed to hold the sofa and chairs (a set) for me for one day and we agreed that I would come in first thing in the morning with full payment in hand. I arrived at 11 am, which is their advertised opening time, however the owner, Cynthia didn't arrive and open until 11:30 and I had to wait around a half hour till she showed up.

Despite promising to hold the set for me in the day between placing the hold and arriving with the full cash, she had sold the chairs to - she kept repeating - SARAH RICHARDSON.

Then to add insult to injury Cynthia lied and said it was the shop worker who sold it not knowing there was a hold on it.

All of us fully aware that my initial hold was arranged with the shop worker who placed the hold for me in the first place.

Business is built on trust - Philz is not trustworthy and I wasted a morning honouring my side of the bargain. Bad business bad karma not nice people.
Curious / October 27, 2011 at 12:45 am
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Wow - glad I never bought anything there and I never will! I am infuriated just listening to your stories!
Pete / December 21, 2011 at 02:17 pm
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I had what can only be described as a HORRIFIC experience shopping @Philz - woman serving is awful rude condesceding and .... shop anywhere else
chris / December 30, 2011 at 06:13 pm
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I feel so good after hearing all these stories about Philz. He is a crook, liar and a flat out a-hole. His wife is the female version of him, which makes sense why they're together. I have attempted on many occasions to purchase items from both his Montreal and Toronto locations and left feeling battered, belittled, lied to and frustrated. His Montreal store has a seriously schizo guy that works there. He made me feel dirty after visiting his store, followed and stared at me like I was a thief. If I asked any questions, I was made to feel like an idiot. His Toronto store is/was the exact same thing. His wife was about as pleasant as a toenail fungus. Why does this man still operate a business is beyond me. STAY AWAY FROM THIS STORE, YOU WILL BE RIPPED OFF.
john kolovos / January 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm
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We are an auction company that will be featuring beautiful frosted glass lighting,circa 1960 in geometric shapes for Hotel-Convention-Banquet spaces. Auction this month-hundreds of pieces-pennies on the dollar!
Contact John. 416-912-9090
sylvi / June 21, 2012 at 06:30 pm
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love this store! Phil and Cynthia are awesome
Anthony Luke / July 23, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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The woman who manages Phil'z has the social skills of a serial killer. I just go in to get ideas and buy elsewhere.
meg douglas / November 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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Are too busy to say hi to your customers? The owner is rude.
jon / December 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm
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My guess is that the Philz in Montreal is owned by same couple. Wow, its crazy reading the reports because the Montreal location is not much better. Way overpriced ($450 for a supposedly 1930s thonet chair??) and real rude and condescending.
james / April 16, 2013 at 01:17 pm
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WORST STORE EVER!

I'm a buyer for tv/film and with the amount of revenue I brought him he would not only not give a discount he would raise the price for me. not only that. every item has fallen apart either ON SET or before making it to set! Everything in the store has not been properly treated. PLEASE BE WARNED to not even look in this store... you will fall in love with many other items elsewhere!!! save your time and money!

james
Comps / July 6, 2013 at 01:17 am
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Holly shit... Was there today in passing and made plans to go visit tomorrow to look into more detail. First thing that struck me were the prices. One of the questions I was going to ask is "how on earth do you justify the price...". However, reading consistent horrible reviews, I think I'll skip it. Thanks everyone!
asdf / July 21, 2013 at 08:43 pm
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Went to Phil`z Montreal and I have to say, although some items seem overpriced, the staff was super friendly. We found a great lamp (that we knew was worth the price at Phil'z) and were happy with the sale*

*: except for the fact that they charged us 5$ for the bulb (650$ lamp after taxes)...
sonja / October 5, 2013 at 09:29 am
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I have to say that I'm actually kind of surprised by all these negative comments because I was really impressed with their customer service I've never encountered Phil myself but I bought a beautiful lamp there and the lady went out of her way to help us pack it up right and juggle with it and fit it into the car. Unfortunately there was something wrong with it and after installation it overheated and broke, they were very helpful when I brought it back and explained what happened and dealt with it very professionally. I'm very thankful for that.
Bryan / December 3, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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It seems like things never change over time and it amazes me how the same woman is still dealing with customers.

I was in their today to inquire about a pair of chairs for sale. There was an older woman with grey hair and glasses who approached me and said hello, that is where the good experience ended. I began to talk to her about the price and if there was any flexibility. While I was talking to her, she seemed uninterested, almost bothered. At one point while I was talking, a few other customers came in and this woman actually walked away from me while I was talking to say hi to the other customers. After saying hi to them, she half way came back to me but wouldn't look at me. I asked her if I was bothering her and she said "no" but her actions spoke louder then words. I went back to speaking to her and I asked her if she would be willing to take $2200 for a pair of chairs and she said "no", I then proceeded to ask her what kind of flexibility would she have on the price. At this point she walked away from me again and began to talk to the other customers who were looking at a picture. She was completely rude and ignorant and I told her that I must be bothering her and that she has a lot to learn about running a business and customer service.

Apparently there is a male owner who is very nice and this woman is possibly his wife. I really feel sorry for him if this is the treatment he gets on a regular basis. I will never do business there and if this woman continues to behave in this manner then I don't see how anyone would want to shop there.

Just my two cents on my experience.
MP / January 28, 2014 at 01:02 pm
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I so agree. Philz has a store in Montreal as well. It looks like they are the same everywhere.

Nice furniture but these peoples are not nice at all!
Trev / March 16, 2014 at 08:41 am
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Phil'z looks like a fairly cool store from the street but it's when you enter the store you find out that he and his employee(s) are kind of douchebags. They aren't friendly at all. Not even close. In fact they don't greet you or give you the impression that they are even interested in your business. We went in there yesterday and they followed me and my 5 year old son around like a child predator, saying no no no don't touch, the ENTIRE TIME! This isn't a China shop selling Ming Dynasty vases, what can a 5 yr old do to a reclaimed wooden bad frame? Not only that, when I asked a question about a mildly interesting table's history the woman shrugged her shoulders and knew nothing about it. C'mon Phil'z pull your shit together. Machine Age Modern up the street is kicking your asses, and rightly so. Actually I will never return so continue business as usual, it doesn't matter to me.

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