Press Release from Loch Lea Antiques
Reprinted With Permission
Paris, Kentucky has long been known for its “Horses, History and Hospitality”, but recently people have started calling it “A Downtown You’ll Remember.”
With six antique shops to go with at least eight restaurants, a topnotch framing and art gallery, a boutique jewelry gallery, and one of Central Kentucky’s most active art and history museums all in the seven-block downtown area, there is a lot to remember in Paris.
From Blandon M. Cherry Antiques on the south, near Eighth Street, to Bourbon Antiques on the north, at Second Street, each of Paris’ antique shops has a very different character. “I think that’s part of why we all get along so well, and why so many people come to antique shop in Paris,” said Ardery Dorval, who has been in the antique business for 30 years and has been proprietor of Ardery Antiques since 2003.
Ardery Antiques is one of the most memorable settings for antiques in Paris. Located at the corner of Seventh Street and Main, they occupy an 8,000 square-foot vintage building that was a J.J. Newberry’s, complete with original hardwood floors, gleaming 1920’s light fixtures and ceiling fans to augment the state-of-the-art heating and cooling system overhauled when Ardery’s moved into the building in 2005.
Last spring Charles Smith took over the 1930’s vintage dimestore soda fountain at Ardery’s now called, appropriately enough, “The Fountain”. He offers a daily homecooked special along with a full complement of sandwiches and a daily soup. For years, Smith was the chef at the Phoenix Hotel – a Lexington landmark torn down in 1987 – and his many fans have been happy to rediscover him in Paris.
Blandon M. Cherry Antiques is one of the newer Paris shops, but Blandon Cherry is well known for his quality Kentucky furniture and art, and even garden statuary – a reputation developed via his years of exhibiting at major Midwest antique shows. He is open by appointment or chance. At 807 Main, his is another building showing the obvious benefits of lots of tender loving care and its high ceilings complement Cherry’s tall case clocks, corner cupboards and overall gallery feeling.
Bourbon Antiques, the anchor at the north end of the half-mile of shopping enjoyment, is at 127 Main and the proprietor is Carl Samuels. Samuels has had a shop on Main Street for 12 years and has also been in the antiques business for more than 30 years. Samuels’ specialty is lamps and glass, but you never know what else you might find there. “And if you don’t find me at the shop, call me at home,” he says.
Longest in business on Main Street is Lyn and Gordon Layton’s Loch Lea Antiques. They’re celebrating 23 years of business at 410 Main Street in 2009 and they have been in the antique business for 35 years. Loch Lea is known for “all things Kentucky — furniture, silver, baskets, textiles and art”, says Lyn Layton. “In the last five years we’ve gotten into Kentucky and equine books. And we carry a large array of horse racing memorabilia, advertising and vintage win photos.” (Editor’s note 7/9/12: Loch Lea Antiques is now located at 624 Main St. in Paris, KY)
Graham’s Antiques bears the name of Dan Graham, who has been a collector since he was a teenager, and has been in business in Paris for almost 14 years. Their 2500 square foot building was home to a Buick car dealership going back to the 1930’s, and now houses Ric O’Connell’s furniture and art restoration and bench made furniture talents as well. They are one block off Main Street, at the corner of Fourth and Pleasant Streets.
Dan Graham has a wide range of antiques, including, art pottery and stoneware, paintings, clocks, lighting, silver, “and I usually have some quilts and oriental rugs,” says Graham. “My specialty is local cherry and walnut antique furniture and art glass.”
Fairbanks Antiques & Stuff, at 224 Main, is operated by Patty Fairbanks, an antiquing celebrity in Paris since 1995. Patty buys whole households of furnishings – hence the “stuff” of her shop name. She has several thousand square feet of antiques and stuff – “more if you count how high my stuff is piled,” she laughs.
“You literally never know what I’m going to have,” says Fairbanks. “It all depends on what I’ve been able to buy that month. I don’t keep things long enough to put price tags on most of it, but I always tell people, “I’ll give you a really good price.” People love the bargains they get from me and love digging around and finding treasures.”
Besides all the antique shops, Paris boasts several noteworthy restaurants. Varden’s Café and Emporium serves breakfast, lunch and will soon offer dinner at 509 Main Street. The Varden’s building was built in 1891 by Dr. George Varden and features Tiffany windows and South African mahogany apothecary cabinets.
Migdalia’s restaurant, at 500 Main, is the newest dining experience in Paris – opened in December of 2006. They occupy another beautifully restored building that required more than four years of work. The menu rivals that of any large city restaurant and the ambiance surpasses that to be found in most such eateries.
If you enjoy antiques, art or history, you’ll also enjoy a stop at the Hopewell Museum while you’re in Paris. Located at 800 Pleasant Street (one block off Main) in a beautiful 1909 Beaux Arts building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, details of the Hopewell’s exhibit schedule are available at www.hopewellmuseum.org . A must-see is their groundbreaking Kentucky pottery exhibit “Waco and the Bybees” regarding Cornelison, Waco, Genuine Bybee and Selden Bybee pottery of the early 20th century. The exhibit begins May 28 and runs through September 27, 2009.
*Editor’s Note: You are invited to visit another antiques shop, Discoveries Antiques located at 624 Main St. in Paris, KY that was not included in the above article. They are open from 11-3 Mon., Thur, Fri, and offer an eclectic mix of early antiques, primitives, folk art, prints, small furniture, jewelry, rare and hard to find books, equine antiques and books and collectibles. In addition, they offer chipped crystal repair (done on the premises), book and bible restoration and certified personal property appraisals.