Rebecca Stocking, owner of Pastimes, behind the counter at the new location. She hopes to have the entire space open in the near future.

Rebecca Stocking, owner of Pastimes, behind the counter at the new location. She hopes to have the entire space open in the near future. 

 

A longtime DeWitt Mall staple has changed its location over the last few weeks, as Pastimes Antiques Store has moved down the hallway to a larger space in the main corridor of the Cayuga Street shopping center. 

Owner Rebecca Stocking said Pastimes completed the move during February, taking over the space formerly occupied by the Bookery before the bookstore closed down. The new space is about two and a half times as large as the old spot, she estimated. 

Stocking bought the store from longtime owner Adam Perl in June 2018. At the time, she didn’t plan on expansion. Laughing, she calls the recent change a bit of an “impulse move,” but that it’s gone well so far. 

“I was just always feeling really cramped in there,” she said. “I just decided I would take the chance. I like it, I feel a little bit uneasy about not being fully settled yet, but it’s good. It’s definitely more spacious.”

The old location, which was in a small space down a side hallway off the north entrance of DeWitt Mall, limited the business, she said. If someone wanted to come in with a stroller or a wheelchair, they’d almost inevitably end up getting wedged in the entrance of the store. In the new space, much of the store’s inventory is familiar: finely-aged china lines the walls in shelves, cases of rare buttons, a box of decades-old records sits near the cash register, and the rest of the store is a menagerie of different 

With the expanded area to operate, Stocking said some new aspects might be coming to the business, even beyond having substantially more room to accommodate customers. The store only closed for one day, and during that time the Pastimes staff was able to complete the majority of the move that was necessary to the new space. 

“We have a lot more room for the clothes, which were very cramped,” she said. “.We have a much better dressing room, we have a back room. I have a friend who’s going to have his own space back there, that will have a bunch of different stuff. Eventually, we might get more furniture, larger things.”

At its core, though, Pastimes will remain the same. Patrons come in with trinkets they want to sell, or an interest in perusing, and Stocking sees if she can help. Even during this interview, Stocking bought a small decorative rock from a woman for $5. Small transactions like that, she said, are the bread and butter of Pastimes’ business, likely more than larger priced items ever would be. 

“Pastimes has been in the DeWitt Mall for 40 years, so there’s a lot of people who come in selling the things they bought here 40 years ago,” she said. “Some people come in more because they need the money than that they have anything in particular to sell. All kinds of people come in and sell, but I also go to estate auctions, go to people’s houses for a house call, etc.” •

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