- Location: Berkeley, CA
- Website: urbanore.com
Ever have one of those panic moments where you look around your house and scream, "Out! Everything out!", gather everything up, donate it and then realize what a horrible, disastrous mistake you've made? Take all of those cast-offs (good and bad alike), throw in some antique goods, sprinkle on a little dash of that amazing feeling when you've hit thrift-store gold and a lingering odor of cat urine and wham-o! You've discovered the mixed blessing that is Urban Ore.
Part excellent thrift store, part overwhelming trash heap, this is 3 acres of pure scavenging heaven. A mecca for those seeking vintage building materials, you could also easily spend hours in here and not even notice the rows of toilets and tubs outside.
Over the years that we've routinely visited, we've brought home the following: awesome Wegner inspired dining room chairs, 2 cast-iron pots, doorknobs, electrical plate covers, a lamp, terracotta pots, a gorgeous vintage decanter, random skeleton keys, 3 ring binders, a toaster, a mint condition Elvis record, vintage german novels, a picnic basket, fireplace tools, a window pane and numerous mugs and plates...just to name a few. Did we mention you can bargain with them?
We have a real love/hate relationship with Urban Ore. Just the people watching alone is worth the visit. Mingle with contractors, hipsters, landlords, moms with kids and the occasional crazy person. You'll never be bored...
Sometimes, the bargains and finds are so delicious that you want to cry. Other times the cat pee smell and greasy mug handles just don't make it worth the hunt. If that's the case, we call it a day and pack it in knowing full well we'll be back in no time and probably leave with an armload of new treasures.