Lunchtime Tourist

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November 24, 2003 // UPDATED 11:07 am - April 30, 2007
By: Kinda Koutsky
Kinda Koutsky

Antiques Riverwalk Alternative holiday shopping destination (1 of 4) 210 3rd Ave. N.

How about giving a genuine, authenticated piece of Minnesota's past for a gift this year? You can do it (and it's even affordable!) at Antiques Riverwalk. The shop is located in an antique itself -- the 1885 Colonial Warehouse was the headquarters for the city's horse-drawn streetcar transportation system.

Once you enter the arched brick doorway, be prepared to enter the world of "Antiques Roadshow". The place is dripping with sparkling crystal chandeliers and Art Deco jewelry, and overflowing with Oriental rugs, 19th century landscape paintings and English furniture.

Interested in a heavily carved wood chest that opens into a mini bar? The Riverwalk has one from a German monastery that can be yours for $15,000. But the place is also filled with more-affordable treasures -- sterling silver bud vase, $65; vintage cocktail shaker with recipes printed on the side, $50; and lots of items under $20: embroidered linens, pillows, picture frames, wood boxes, cloisonne earrings, old trophies, busts of composers . . .

Several dealers have relics of Minnesota history among their worldly offerings, including a beautiful map of the state with pictorial sidebars that was printed in 1931 by the Woman's Club based in Loring Park. Today, the framed piece sells for $495. Another dealer specialized in large-scale real estate maps from the Twin Cities. Many neighborhoods are available in a shrink-wrapped presentation for $50-$300. A postcard suitable for framing shows the recently built Foshay Tower in a dreamy night scene for a mere $7.

Antiques Riverwalk is a good escape from our modern workdays. Look carefully through the items from more than 30 dealers and you're sure to find a one-of-a-kind gift. Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays until 7 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Send your tips to thelunchtimetourist@hotmail.com

LUNCH TIP: Monte Carlo Bar and Caf across the street, 219 3rd Ave. N., serves old-fashioned sandwiches and has been around since 1906.