After nearly 30 years of owning Downtown Antiques, Barry Betts – and Granger the dog, of course– are turning in their keys to a new owner.The new owners are the Wagner family, including Josh Wagner and his mother Annette and father Chuck.The store, which had it’s last day under the ownership of Betts on July 30, will re-open mid-August under the new Wagner family ownership.“I’m 75-years-old and it was time that I retired. This store, it’s given me a good life – me and Granger both. "Right, Granger!” said Betts, followed by a bark from Granger. In the meantime, the Wagners, who also own a craft/antique/fabric store in Gregory, are making a few cosmetic changes to the inside of the antique store, including paint and the reorganization of merchandise. Although they plan to bring in some of their own merchandise to sell, there will be eight 8-by- 10-foot stations available for people to purchase space to consign their own antiques.
The new owners, who have been in the antique biz for around 15 years, say they are excited about owning a new store in a new town. “We sort of did this on a whim – we were in the right place at the right time,” said Annette.
Once the store re-opens, hours of operation will be around 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week. Josh, who will be the main owner of the store, says the details are still being ironed out as to which days exactly the store will be open. Although he’s young and this is his first business venture, he’s been going to antique shows since he was a child and has his parents, who will remain in the background, to help guide him through the business owning process. “I’m really excited to be here and meet everyone and greet the customers in Chamberlain. It’s a new town, but it’s already starting to feel like home,” said Josh, who plans to live in Chamberlain and keep the name of the business the same.
Betts won’t disappear completely, though. He already has a station set-up within the store and plans to pop in every now and again, with Granger likely in tow.
“Granger is probably going to miss this store even more than I. For the last 12 years he’s been greeting customers and stands by the door to go to work every morning at 8:30 a.m.,” said Betts. “But, I’m looking forward to retirement. It’ll allow me to travel more, but Chamberlain is going to remain my home. I’m leaving the business in good hands.” For vendors interested in consigning antiques under the new ownership of Downtown Antiques, call Josh at (605) 830-1628.