Vintage (by it's essence) was gone for a while, but with stores like The Public Butter in Parkdale, it's pretty safe to say it is officially here to stay. The new store, opened in February, is a massive collection of everything retro. On top of a wide-variety of furniture and clothing, you'll also find local artists on the wall and silk screens shirts a mile long. Oh, and I can't forgot to mention the bikes out front and the wide variety of, to name a few, bags, games, lamps, hats, lunch boxes and belts from days gone by.
Suitably placed on the ever changing West of Queen Street West, Public Butter could be described as a store you've been to in Montreal, a little more laid back and little bit cooler than other stores selling similar stuff in the city.
Did I mention the store is massive, because that's important. It's huge.
I spoke with Bernard Chung, who, along with John Christman and Tracey Opperman, is co-owner of the store.
Where did the name for the store come from?
We came up with the name collectively from our first artist and staffers. Our motto is 'fresh vintage goods daily'.
It's a massive store and you can tell immediately it's not just about clothes, how would you describe the store?
From 'fresh baked prints' emerging from our conveyor belt screen dryer, high end vintage garments daily, fine furnishings, to our fresh local artists shown on our 50 foot gallery wall. There is always something creative going on at the Public Butter.
What's the history of the store?
The Public Butter opened Feb 29th 2008. Our previous location was in the Liberty Market area at King and Dufferin. Our art grad silk-screeners needed a complimentary creative environment to produce their craft.
Has the location been a good location for you?
We love Parkdale and find it a perfect home for us. The neighbourhood is extremely vibrant with very artistic and creative people. It's a fantastic fit.
Walk me through a few highlights of the store - how does it differ from other vintage clothing shops?
We're out buying 4 days a week with large crews, so we feel the selection and quality is second to none in the city. Add the eclectic selection of furniture, house wares, and bicycles. No ones doing that anywhere that I know of. Vintage at PB, while past era inspired, is stylish and very wearable today.
What's the relationship between The Public Butter and The Black Market?
Everyone knows the great value, great prices of Black Market since 1979. Public Butter is a compilation of our finest hand picked goods. It's exciting fashionable clothing and knockout furnishings that anyone would be proud to have in their collection.
Photos by Joseph