Milwaukee thrift stores that have been around forever

Milwaukee thrift stores that have been around forever

Photo courtesy of Armin Staudt via Shutterstock

By Kristine Hansen

February 27, 2024

Buying gently used items is a great way to not only express personal style but also keep items out of landfills by finding them a new home.

Before Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul stores populated Milwaukee neighborhoods and surrounding ‘burbs, other thrift and vintage stores quietly sold items for the home as well as clothing you simply can’t find anywhere else.

Here are six examples of thrift shops that opened their doors several years — if not decades — ago, and what you can expect to find there, along with what charitable organization your purchase benefits.

Tip Top Atomic Shop

Open since 2001 along KK in bustling Bay View, this Midcentury-Modern focused shop sells everything from lamps and other heavy furnishings to embroidered tablecloths, costume jewelry, and rockabilly apparel.

While the shop sells a mix of reproduction and original items, each carefully curated vintage item represents what one might have used in their home — or worn out on the town — between the mid-1940s and late 1970s.

Super Thrift

Functioning as an offshoot of Great Lakes Men Club, this Northwest Side thrift store debuted in 2017 and proceeds benefit Adult & Teen Challenge’s alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, including providing clients with job training. The organization has been making a difference in the community since its 1983 launch.

What sets this store apart is the room vignettes staff create, so you can see exactly how a coffee table pairs with a couch — and maybe buy both!

Keep an eye on the store’s Facebook page for news of deals, including a recent $1 shoe sale.

Value Village

Both Value Village stores — St. Francis and Milwaukee’s near South Side — have been in business for at least 15 years, if not longer. But when you buy used goods here, you’re actually supporting a 55-year-old thrift shop. The first location opened in 1969 on Green Bay Avenue and Concordia in Milwaukee, later relocating to the Harambee spot (now closed).

Proceeds benefit military veterans and their families through the Military Order of Purple Heart Service Foundation. At Value Village you can find true vintage (dating back to the middle of last century) clothing hiding in the racks next to designer labels like Banana Republic and Calvin Klein. Weekends are the best time to shop as that’s when everything is 50% off.

Annie’s Vintage Clothing and Rarities

Long-time local thrifters will remember Annie’s Second Hand Chic on Warren Street, just off of eclectic Brady Street, on the first floor of a historic home from 1996. However, owner Anne Tilque now sells her vintage wares (mostly clothing and home décor, from a Tori Richard vintage Hawaiian men’s shirt to retro martini glasses) inside two local antique malls in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood, operating as Annie’s Vintage Clothing & Rarities: Antiques on Pierce and Antique Center.

Blessed Again Resale

While the exact opening year of this resale shop is unknown, it was definitely open by 2013. Located on Milwaukee’s Northwest Side, you could literally stock an entire home with furnishings sold here.

Proceeds go towards assisting the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod’s efforts to provide new moms with low-cost merchandise and work experience. The store also sells gently used clothing, craft materials, books, electronics, shoes, and toys.

Saint Paul’s Thrift Shop

Staffed by volunteers from the community as well as Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side — where this shop is located — what’s sold here is highly curated. For example, you will find fine art to hang on the wall, holiday décor, and women’s apparel and fashion accessories.

The shop is open every Tuesday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm as well as the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Milwaukee thrift stores that have been around foreverMilwaukee thrift stores that have been around forever


  • Kristine Hansen

    Based in Milwaukee, Kristine Hansen has written about wonders around Wisconsin for,, and Milwaukee Magazine. She’s also the author of books about Wisconsin’s cheese, agritourism and Frank Lloyd Wright sites.

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