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Goods and Services

Best Thrift Store

Salvation Army

2700 W. Patapsco Ave., (410) 525-0530

Posted 9/15/1999

The thrift-store category is always a difficult one to award because nearly every thrift store is best for something. Sometimes it's a singularly superior selection of books, or housewares, or duckpin-bowling balls. Other thrifts may boast super-low prices on clothing, great glassware, or some weird eddies in the thrift continuum that produce a consistently excellent stock of vinyl. We feel that the Salvation Army on Baltimore's southernmost fringes offers a little bit of everything that makes a good thrift, even if others may offer one thing in more abundance or for less money. This particular Sally Ann's charms include all-too-rare public restrooms; a clean, well-lit, and recently rehabbed interior; an enormous furniture selection; and inexpensive prices in the (alas, limited) housewares department. Best of all is the uniform-pricing policy on clothing. Sure, that means nasty old sweat-stained polyblend K-Mart shirts go for $3.50 or so, but then so do gorgeous vintage rayon Hawaiian shirts and famous-name silk blouses. And such treasures do turn up; unlike that of many area thrifts, the stock here is not sorted (and priced) by quality, perceived "vintage" value, or designer names on the label. If somebody's gonna thrift an original Chanel suit in Baltimore, chances are they're gonna do it here. (And we'll be the ones who get it, so you better stay out of our path.)

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